Three quick items about three new Jesus films coming out later this year.
The Young Messiah, which came out on DVD yesterday, isn’t the first movie to spend more than a scene or two on Jesus when he was a boy. It isn’t even the second. A few months ago I reviewed A Child Called Jesus, a 1987 film that has some striking parallels to The Young Messiah. Now I’d like to take a brief look at The Holy Family, a two-part TV-movie that has fewer parallels but is still interesting in its own way.
The Young Messiah: a scene guide (w/ clips and references to the scriptures, the apocryphal texts, and the novel)
Last month I wrote up a scene guide for Risen, noting which scriptures different parts of the movie were based on. Now it’s The Young Messiah’s turn — and this time, matters are complicated by the fact that the film is based not directly on the Bible, but on Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, which in turn makes use of Old and New Testament apocrypha in addition to the scriptures.
The Young Messiah — which comes out this Friday — isn’t the first film to focus on the early childhood of Jesus. Nearly 30 years ago, an Italian filmmaker named Franco Rossi directed a two-part TV-movie called Un bambino di nome Gesù (a.k.a. A Child Called Jesus), and it’s striking to see how much the two films have in common.