• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as current film releases with spiritual significance, and a few bits and pieces on the Bible.

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Nativity News vol.12

    It's probably about time to give a couple of updates on The Nativity Story.

    Firstly, a few more details have been released about some of the books that are being released to tie in with the film. As I mentioned in the last bulletin, Pauline Press are amongst the companies releasing books related to the film. (Pauline Press are a Catholic organisation, seeking to "proclaim Christ in a media world"). They are releasing two books, "The Nativity Story: A Film Study Guide for Catholics", by Rose Pacatte, and "The Nativity Story: Contemplating Mary’s Journeys of Faith", edited by the same. Here are the blurbs for the two films:
    The Nativity Story invites us to explore our faith and to listen for God’s Word in our daily lives, and this film study guide is a wonderful roadmap for the journey. Complete with sections for personal study, for group study, and for whole community catechesis, "The Nativity Story: A Film Study Guide for Catholics" is a practical guide for delving prayerfully into the mystery of our Savior’s birth.

    • Personal study includes questions on Scripture passages and the movie.
    • Group study features questions focusing on themes including: Journeying; Seeking; Prayer; Values and Virtues; and Story and Symbols.
    • Works as a springboard for weekly gatherings from the first Sunday of Advent through Epiphany, including questions that integrate the weekly Gospel reading and the movie.
    It's also keen to stress that the study guide will be useful for both children and adults. The book also contains a few photos from the film, which isn't bad for a 32 page pamphlet at a cost of on $5. The second book is a little more meaty at 160 pages (and a cost of $17)
    Although she is the Mother of God, Mary was a woman who experienced the full range of human emotions: amazement and confusion, fear and exhaustion, tenderness and wonder, tranquility and joy. In this inspiring book, contemporary women ponder Mary’s journeys—both spiritual and physical—and contemplate her growth as a person, a woman, a wife, a mother, a child of God.

    Each of these authors has made a journey of faith that has been enriched or guided by Mary’s example, and they show us how—through our roles and women and men, daughters and sons, wives and husbands, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, professionals and religious—we can find in Mary both a role model and source of insight and encouragement for our own "journeys of faith."
    Both books are released next month (November 1st according to Amazon) and will be available direct form the Pauline store.

    Secondly, Queen Spoo has news that whilst those attending Heartland Film Festival will get to see a few clips of the movie, those keen to see the whole thing, will have to wait until the 9th November when the whole film will be screened at the National Outreach Convention. Screenplay author Mike Rich will be "speaking to the NOC attendees giving insights into the outreach opportunity that the film presents, as well as fascinating, "behind the scenes" stories from the movie and it's[sic] production." There are also rumours of advance screenings for church leaders, journalists etc., although I'm yet to be invited to one myself.

    Finally, Queen Spoo has also noticed that the film's official website is saying the film has been classified as a PG (in the US at least). I can't say that's a big surprise. The film-makers have been keen to stress the family nature of this film from the start. Whilst Jeffrey Overstreet will no doubt be disappointed that the slaughter of the innocents will therefore lack realism, I'm not sure that holds true. Son of Man shot the violence of that scene at a distance, yet it was one of the most chilling treatments of the story I can recall.

    The scene I'm most interested in, in respect of realism, is the actual birth itself. Having recently been through that experience in real life, very few films of any kind have really given it any kind of realism. Even the recent Children of Men which shows the birth, from the, business end (so to speak - I assume this was CGI!) still don't really capture it.

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