• 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.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    2 Kings Redux

    Last Friday I wrote about seven films that have covered the events of 2 Kings in preparation for the 12th session of my course Through the Bible in Five and a Half Years. Even as I was writing, I had a vague recollection that some Jesus film or other started with a flashback from 2 Kings but I couldn't quite remember it.

    It turns out that the film I was thinking of was the opening entry in the Living Christ Series which spends nearly ten minutes retelling the story of Isaiah, Hezekiah and the Israelites by way of introducing the prophet who would foretell Jesus's birth.

    As with the rest of this series the production values are very low, and the acting is hilariously poor in places, but it does give a rare treatment to this story. The series was generally fairly straight with its adaptation and this episode was no exception.A couple of things in this film caught my attention. Firstly, one of the film's opening images is of this map, dated 701 BC. As the narrator describes the Assyrian empire's march across the region he lists Sidon, Tyre, Ashdod, Moab and Edom, but, bizarrely, Samaria is omitted.

    The film also adds a few other educational comments from the narrator such as the detail that the Assyrians attached knives to their wheels and so on.

    In a similar vein the opening monologue also contains the shot below of a statue similar to the Assyrian Winged Bull that was originally part of Sargon II's palace, but is now in the British Museum. However, the film doesn't make any reference to the Taylor prism which tells the same story but from Sennacherib's perspective.I also showed the opening scene from the Bible Collection's Jeremiah where Josiah's men find the book of the law. It's an interesting sequence for two reasons, firstly because, according to some scholars, this "discovery" may never have happened, and secondly because it treats the scroll itself as almost human, using a point of view shot to give it's perspective on being discovered.

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