Hollywood & The Bible

For as long as there has been a motion picture industry, there have been attempts to interpret and portray parts of the Bible story on film.  That attempt began with the earliest silent movies, moved through the great “robe and sandals” extravaganzas of the 1950’s and 1960’s and continues on to the present day.  What happens when filmmakers try to become theologians?  What themes are they trying to put across to the viewer?  What interpretations are at work in their films?

Stuff like this has always fascinated me; perhaps it has fascinated you, too.  As part of an attempt to see how the culture has viewed scripture, we are going to take time on Sunday, April 9th—Palm Sunday—to view the 1961 film, Barabbas, in the sanctuary at 6:30 p.m.  The film, which stars Anthony Quinn in the title role, was based on a Nobel-Prize winning novel by Pär Lagerkvist, and focuses on the legend of Barabbas, the man released in Jesus’ place by Pilate.  In the story of Barabbas, we see one person struggle for faith and understanding.  There will be a time for a brief discussion following the showing of the film, for those interested.

If you want to look for the deeper meaning of Hollywood’s treatment of the Bible, or if you just want to see a good, old-fashioned “robe and sandals” flick during Holy Week, please join us on Palm Sunday evening.

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