• 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 31, 2006

    Nativity News vol.6

    Peter Chattaway has linked to Christianity Today's interview with Mike Rich - the writer for The Nativity Story. There are a few new things to comment on. Firstly, it appears that Rich's image has changed somewhat. The best photo of him available back in February was this one, where he looked more like an Evangelical Christian trying to be a writer than the accomplished film writer he actually was. His "new" look (because it might just have been an old / bad photo) is much better. Perhaps I'm being fickle here, but this small detail in itself increases my (already fairly buoyant) optimism about the film.

    Secondly I found this quote quite interesting:
    I think some purists will perhaps raise an eyebrow at the fact that we blended the two Gospel narratives, with the shepherds [from Luke] and the Magi [from Matthew]. Yes, we do show that quintessential Nativity scene at the end, with the shepherds and the Magi there together; purists are likely going to take exception with that. But if we had made a film that would have been strictly respectful to Matthew, people would wonder where the shepherds were. If we made a film that was strictly respectful of Luke, people would wonder where the Magi were. So, the film is called The Nativity Story, and that's what we're focusing in on—that quintessential moment that millions of individuals still put out on their fireplace mantels in December.
    I think this approach is justified in a film called The Nativity Story, although the shepherds and the magi arriving together seems at odds with the idea that the Magi visited Jesus in a house. Certainly it would have been a mistake for this project to separate the two stories out (unless they did something really different and complex with the differing traditions). I do hope though that future, life-of-Jesus films make similarly carefully considered decisions about how they use the stories from Matthew and Luke, in what would be something of a different context.

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