• 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


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    Monday, February 09, 2009

    Arabic Jesus Film - The Resurrected

    Photo by Tinou Bao, used under a Creative Commons Licence

    Peter Chattaway has posted an article from Variety about a $2 million Jesus film being made in Lebanon. Shooting is due to start in the summer with the aim being for an initial release at Easter 2010. That's starting to look like a busy period; Mary, Mother of the Christ is also due to arrive in cinemas at the same time.

    It looks like Lebanese director Samir Habchi (Beirut, Open City) will direct the film, currently named The Resurrected, whilst the actor chosen to play Jesus is called Youssef Al-Khal.

    Despite the claims of producers Eagle Pictures / the Marwa Group, there have been a couple of similar projects recently. Back in 2006 there was talk of a Coptic Jesus film and i talked quite a bit last year about the Iranian Jesus production Mesih (a.k.a. Jesus, the Spirit of God).

    Like Mesih, the producers are hoping their film will foster "mutual respect... between Christians, Muslims and Jews". Having seen neither film, I'm keen to see how this would work in practice, particularly as elsewhere there's talk of the "redemptive nature of Jesus’ message" and the film's working title obviously refers to a specifically Christian doctrine. The producers plan to take aspects from the canonical gospels but it will be interesting to see if any other ancient sources are also in evidence.

    The story will apparently be told from Mary Magdalene's perspective via the use of flasbacks, an idea that was used in 2007's Magdalena, Released from Shame. As they are planning to shoot on the sites where Jesus visited (such as Tyre), it will be interesting to see if they opt to film on either of the two Israeli sites touted as being Mary's supposed home town of Magdala.

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