Review: The Holy Family (dir. Raffaele Mertes, 2006)

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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.

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The Young Messiah: a scene guide (w/ clips and references to the scriptures, the apocryphal texts, and the novel)

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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.

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Of Kings and Prophets — season one, episode one

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Note: Last year I posted episode-by-episode notes on the sources and themes of A.D. The Bible Continues. I intend to do something similar for Of Kings and Prophets. Be warned: there will be spoilers here. And lots of appreciative nit-picking.

Season 1, Episode 1 — ‘Offerings of Blood’
I Samuel 13-17

Editing Samuel. The series skips past the stories about Samuel’s early life (I Samuel 1-7) and the role he played in making Saul king (I Samuel 8-12). It then cherry-picks bits and pieces from I Samuel 13-17 and rearranges the chronology somewhat.

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Review: Of Kings and Prophets — Episode 1: Offerings of Blood (dir. Michael Offer, 2016)

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It’s hard to beat the story of Saul and David for biblical sex and violence, and the first shots in Of Kings and Prophets — premiering tonight at 10pm on ABC — waste no time getting to the “violence” part of that equation. (The sex comes later.)

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Su Re — a Rashomon-like version of the Passion?

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Most Jesus films tell a coherent story, or at least they try to: either they are based on a single gospel, or they try to “harmonize” the gospels by including certain story elements while omitting others. One film, however, makes a point of underlining the differences and even contradictions between the four canonical gospels.

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A.D. The Bible Continues — season one, episode eleven

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Season 1, Episode 11 — ‘Rise Up’
Acts 8-9

Editing Acts, redux. The eleventh episode of A.D. The Bible Continues covers two stories from the book of Acts, including one that would have been covered three episodes ago if the series had followed the narrative sequence in Acts.

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