• 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


    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Color of the Cross Press Release

    Anne Thompson has posted up a press release about the forthcoming black-Jesus movie Color of the Cross. Its main piece of news is just confirming what I mentioned three weeks ago - that the film is due for release on the 27th October 2006. However, there are a couple of interesting quotes which I'd like to comment on.
    "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."
    La Marre's belief that "Jesus was black" is quite surprising if he means it in an objective historical sense. However, the original website made a number of points to back this up which I commented on at the time, so perhaps he does. That said, when he says in "other people’s eyes he may be white, Latino or even Asian" it at least suggests the possibility that he means his original statement in a more subjective sense. Certainly I share his hope that this film will unite people, and challenge white Christians about their own perspectives. I also hope that as it comes from a different racial perspective it will enhance my own understanding of the gospels. La Marre repeats here the idea that Jesus's execution was, in part, due to his race, and I'm interested to see how this aspect is presented.
    Nu-Lite Entertainment chose to team with Rocky Mountain Pictures and its principals Ron Rodgers and Randy Slaughter for the theatrical release of the film following the company's proven track record with such films as End of the Spear. Rocky Mountain Pictures, formerly RS Entertainment, has been successfully releasing films since 1988.

    Fox Home Entertainment, which handled the domestic home video distribution of Passion of the Christ, will release Colour of the Cross on DVD following its theatrical release.
    The choice of Rocky Mountain and Fox to handle the theatrical and DVD releases is also interesting. Going by the data on the IMDB, End of the Spear about made its money back on it's theatrical release so presumably that is what they mean by "proven track record". Fox has also done well on DVDs for The Passion of the Christ, but in both cases they are picking up the easy risk free element after someone else has done the hard work.

    One final point. I notice from the stills on the website that the high priests will be white. It will be interesting to see if this film tries to square that one, and how aware it will be of the anti-Semitic issue in general.

    I do hope this film does well, and that those of us not in America will get a chance to see it soon. Thanks to Peter Chattaway for the tip off.



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