• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Another new "Black Jesus" movie

    It's funny how you don't get any black Jesus films for years and then three come along all at once. I've posted quite a few times on the South African Jesus film which was recently playing at Sundance, and I suppose that you could count the filmed version of the recent rock opera Hero!, which was released on DVD a year or two back. Now Variety are reporting on another film featuring a black man playing Jesus - Color of the Cross.

    It's written and directed by Jean-Claude La Marre who also stars as Jesus (going a step further than Mel Gibson), and it seems to be fairly political. One of the producers is Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray who talks "about the negative imaging of black America". The report also notes that "In addition to Jesus, black actors will also portray Mary..., Joseph and Judas, while the rest of the cast will be white or Middle Eastern.

    Thanks to Peter T Chattaway for pointing this story out to me. He notes that it's unclear from the article "whether this film will be set in the past or present". He concludes that it will be set in the past, whereas I'm not so sure. I hope he's right as both Hero! and Son of Man are set in contemporary times, although Hero! loses any prophetic / insightful edge, by setting the story in a fictional police-state America. It would be nice to see a black Jesus film that put the story in it's original era. I think it could bring a lot of fresh insights.

    There's also brief articles at UPI and Empire, with some discussion of the film at the latter.




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