• 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


    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Death of Frank Deasy

    I was very sorry to hear about the death of Frank Deasy, writer of the BBC/HBO mini-series The Passion. Deasy did a great job on that programme - crafting a compelling account without resorting to the usual anti-Semitic Jesus film stereotypes - but will best be remembered for his work on Prime Suspect 7.

    Deasy was sadly only 49 when he died. He had been fighting a long battle with liver cancer, and died during a transplant operation on Thursday. Just a few days before he had an article published in the Observer explaining his difficulties in finding a donor, which combined with a similar plea on Irish radio saw a leap of 10,000 people asking for organ donor cards. Fittingly, there's a follow up to that article in yesterday's Observer along with an Obituary. There's a brief paragraph on The Passion therein:
    The Passion, the gospel according to Deasy, which the BBC screened at Easter 2008, seemed in contrast to his other work, except for the strong human values. "What I personally was fascinated by was the duality of Jesus in his divinity and his humanity," Deasy told Christian Today. "This is essentially a mystery, but his humanity has to be total, otherwise he is somewhat of a tourist in his own Passion. I've tried to find a human truth that feels real and that is not always the same as a theological truth, and so I would hope that people would be open to the fact they are watching a piece of drama rather than a theological treatise."
    Various other news outlets are recording this including the BBC. I actually heard about this first from Mark Goodacre who, as historical consultant to The Passion, know Deasy quite well, and he talks a little bit about Deasy's work in his appearance on Duke University TV's Online Office Hours, which is now available to watch for anyone who missed it live. Mark also mentions that the show is due to air on HBO next year, most likely with a different title.

    Deasy's interviews about The Passion are still available to listen to at rejesus.co.uk.



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