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: a scene guide (w/ clips and references to the scriptures, the apocryphal texts, and the novel)
There have been many movies about Jesus, and even a few that have spent some time on his childhood, but there have been none, to my knowledge, that dwell on what it would have been like for Jesus to grow up with brothers and sisters his own age. Indeed, there are very few films that acknowledge the presence of brothers and sisters in Jesus’ adult life, even though the gospels mention his siblings on several occasions. Thus, one of the best things about The Young Messiah — Cyrus Nowrasteh’s long-awaited adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt — is the way it focuses on Jesus’ relatives right from its opening scene.
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.
The young Jesus bringing birds to life: three films that have depicted this tale from one of the apocryphal gospels
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas — an apocryphal gospel that probably dates to the 2nd century AD — tells a story in which Jesus, at the age of five, makes twelve sparrows out of clay and then claps his hands and tells them to fly away. Although this story appears nowhere in the New Testament, some variation on it has appeared in at least three different films about Jesus, one of which is coming out later this week.