Color of the Cross — coming October 27

Color of the Cross — coming October 27 August 23, 2006

Color of the Cross, the new film which asserts that Jesus was black, now has a theatrical release date. Anne Thompson has posted the press release at her Risky Biz Blog; here are some excerpts:

Los Angeles, CA, August 23, 2006 – Nu-Lite Entertainment has announced plans to roll out its controversial new theatrical feature film Color of the Cross in select cities throughout the country beginning October 27, 2006. The company, in association with Rocky Mountain Pictures, will initially release the film in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Baltimore, St. Louis, Memphis and Detroit. The second wave of cities will follow shortly thereafter.

The first film to ever depict Jesus as black, Color of the Cross questions the universal acceptance of Jesus as a blond-haired, blue-eyed saint…an image literally painted by the interpretation of one man, Leonardo Da Vinci. But according to indie filmmaker Jean Claude LaMarre, the answer is not so black and white. “Color of the Cross is not about dividing people, it is about broadening their perspective,” said writer-director LaMarre, who also stars as Jesus in the film. “I believe that Jesus was black. Through other people’s eyes he may be white, Latino or even Asian. We want to convey that it is not what the messenger looks like that is important, it is the message itself.”

“Re-imaging the perception of black people in a more positive light, especially in Hollywood, was also an important factor in my decision to make this film,” added LaMarre, who personally financed the film’s $2.5 million budget. “I did not introduce race into this issue, Da Vinci did. Is Hollywood ready for a black Jesus? We will see. It was a big risk….but a necessary one.”

In Color of the Cross LaMarre chose to focus on the human pain and suffering that Jesus, his Disciples and his family endured instead of the bloody torture of Christ’s crucifixion as Passion of the Christ did. The politically charged film that is based on the last 48 hours of Jesus’ life is not only the first film to feature Jesus as black but also the first to inject race as a possible factor in his crucifixion. . . .

Fox Home Entertainment, which handled the domestic home video distribution of Passion of the Christ, will release Color of the Cross on DVD following its theatrical release. Fox is also supporting the theatrical release with a seven figure P&A; commitment. Color of the Cross will also serve as the premiere title on, a recently launched website that provides quality films about community issues with redeeming and strong moral endings. . . .

There’s a lot that one could comment on here, but for now, I’d just like to know where they got the idea that Leonardo Da Vinci was the first artist to portray Jesus as an idealized male Caucasian.

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