Synopsis. Zuleikha has let go of all her guards and most of her servants, so some of the remaining ones begin to steal her jewelry and her dishes. Zuleikha decides that she can be as generous as Joseph, so she goes to the servants’ quarters and announces to the remaining staff that she will give them land and freedom. Meanwhile, the priests of Amon discover that their grain has gone bad and is riddled with pests. They try to dump the wheat in the river at night, when no one can see them, but they are spotted by the guards and exposed by the palace staff. The Pharaoh summons Joseph, who is currently overseeing grain silos in Memphis, back to Thebes. A crowd greets Joseph when he arrives, and Joseph doesn’t notice that Zuleikha herself is in the crowd.
Synopsis. Zuleikha takes Joseph to the temple of Amon. Malek tries to follow them but is stopped by the temple guards. The priests of Amon perform an “awakening” ceremony, in which they wash and clothe the statue of Amon and carry it outside to be worshiped by the public. Joseph asks how Amon can possibly take care of Egyptians when so many people have to take care of Amon. Back at home, Zuleikha tells Potiphar she didn’t know how to answer Joseph’s questions, so Potiphar says he will take Joseph to the temple instead — but once he gets there with Joseph, he reveals that he actually wants Joseph to see the greed and corruption of the priests. A priest of Amon drives his chariot recklessly through the streets. Potiphar stops him, and even briefly clashes swords with him, and then Potiphar reports the incident to the Pharaoh. Joseph asks if he can become physically brave like Potiphar, so Potiphar takes him to someone who starts training him with wooden swords.
Synopsis. Jacob has a nightmare in which ten wolves chase Joseph to his death. He describes the dream to Leah, who passes it on to their family, and soon everyone assumes that the wolves are a metaphor for Joseph’s ten older brothers. Satan himself appears to the brothers, claiming to be a resident of one of the nearby villages, and describes a dream of his own that stokes their jealousy even more. A Canaanite accuses the older brothers of mistreating him, and Jacob admonishes his sons to live in harmony with the “Palestinians” who were living in Canaan before they were. Joseph dreams that the sun, moon and eleven stars will one day bow down to him, and Jacob tells him to keep this dream to himself. But Bilhah overhears them and tells Joseph’s brothers about the dream, and they agree that they should kill Joseph.
Synopsis. Jacob and his son Joseph are sitting outside the tent where Rachel has died giving birth to Benjamin, and they are mourning the death of their wife and mother when Jacob’s sister Faegheh arrives. After burying Rachel, the clan proceeds to the town where Abraham and Isaac are buried, and Jacob pays a visit to his ancestors’ graves. Joseph’s brothers — and Jacob’s surviving wife and concubines — begin to murmur jealously that Jacob favours Joseph above all the other children, so Faegheh, who is childless, offers to raise Joseph herself. But then one day Joseph goes missing while he and the other children are playing a game of hide-and-seek.
Last year I wrote an essay on films about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph — the patriarchs of Genesis — for an upcoming book called The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (current release date: July 15). As research for that essay, I watched a lot of movies based on Genesis, but I only had so much time at my disposal, and I couldn’t watch everything that came my way.
This was especially true of Yousuf e Payambar, a.k.a. Prophet Joseph, a 45-episode series about the life of Joseph produced for Iranian television about eight or nine years ago. I was intrigued by the series, especially when I found multiple versions of it floating around YouTube and other websites, but I couldn’t justify watching roughly 35 hours of footage just to beef up one or two paragraphs in my essay.
I have a little more time now, though, and since I have done weekly episode recaps of series like A.D. The Bible Continues and Of Kings and Prophets, I thought it might be interesting to take a similar look at Prophet Joseph — but since there are so many episodes, I plan to look at two each week, instead of just one. I don’t mind doing this over the course of five or six months, but almost a year? That’s a little much.
The Red Tent — the adaptation of the Anita Diamant novel that tells the biblical story of Jacob and Joseph from the perspective of Jacob’s wives and daughter Dinah — now has an airdate. Entertainment Weekly reports that the two-part miniseries will be shown on the Lifetime network December 7 and 8.
That’s right in the thick of the Exodus: Gods and Kings rollout (it opens overseas the week before that, and it opens in North America the week after that). And, as it happens, both films will feature Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass as a royal figure of some sort. In Exodus, she plays Bithiah, the Egyptian princess who adopts Moses, while in The Red Tent, she plays Re-Nefer, the queen of Shechem.