Monday, April 01, 2013

"The Bible": Basic narrative on the History Channel's miniseries (and some politics)


The History Channel has aired a 10-part miniseries, “The Bible”, narrated by Keith David. I remember John Huston's 1966 film "The Bible: In the Beginning".  

The last episode depicts the Passion, Crucifixion, and the entire narrative story in the Book of Acts, which is the last book in the New Testament that narrates events. 

The most remarkable scenes include the healing of a lame, toothless man by Peter (Darwin Shaw), and the conversion of Saul into becoming the Apostle Paul (Francis Magee).  Peter is warned by the Romans never to mention the healing.  There was no freedom of speech as we expect it in the ancient world. The Romans feared word of mouth as much as today’s tyrants fear the Internet. 

Jesus (Diogo Margodo)  often appears, looking like a physical man, and still quite handsome, with all wounds healed except for the hand nail scars to satisfy the doubting Thomas. 

It is hard to say how this series is different from many other films on Biblical material.  Unlike a major film (whether Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” or  Lloyd C. Douglas’s “The Robe”, from Fox in 1953, the first film in Cinemascope), this series seems to stress the narrative basics.

The early Christians died for their faith.  Matthew was killed in Ethiopia, Thomas in India, and John was exiled from Rome to Greece, where he wrote Revelations.   In the final scene, John beholds Jesus, looking like a physical man and angel at the same time, on a watery but desert landscape that could be on another planet (maybe Gliese 581 G).   

The History Channel's link is here.  
  

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