A few things to consider in the next cinematic portrayal of Jesus

David Paul Kirkpatrick has a great post he shared on facebook the other day:

Jesus’ Bachelors: The Disciples Were Most Likely Under The Age Of 18 

I have no need nor standing to tell him what cinema portrayals are best, but it helped solidify something I’ve been thinking about.

The 2006 movie, Son of Man, portrays Jesus as a modern day African in a war-torn part of the continent. It is startling because it is the depiction of Jesus is unlike anything I witnessed before. When Mary, on the run from militants seeking to rape her, hides, it gives a new twist to envisioning the danger the Holy Family endured.

Lately, we have seen the Bible series portray Jesus as another British white guy. I am not criticizing this because frankly, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to do so.

I want to see a different cinematic portrayal of Jesus. Here are the things I’d do.

  • Jesus is a tanned, short, rather mundane if not completely ugly looking male actor played by a Jew.
  • The disciples are younger, sort of like the Outsiders, but you know, 1st century Jews.
  • The Romans are played by superman-types. Blond, blue-haired, robust and stoutly fellows.
  • The torture of Jesus includes rape. Yes, I know. Very controversial.
  • The conclusion ends where Mark originally does.

What are you thoughts?

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10 Replies to “A few things to consider in the next cinematic portrayal of Jesus”

  1. I find it disturbing that the disciples were teenagers. I suppose i should try to see the bible symbology in Romeo and Juliet. Must be some martyrdom connection, and even a resurrection, although short-lived. Pass the dermasil.

      1. If one really wants to get picky, picky, picky, the concept of juvenile, as in juvenile crime statistics, can extend to age 24.
        It might also be worth considering that Romans stationed in Israel a couple of thousand years ago probably weren’t the cream of the crop. In those days, Jerusalem was most likely the equivalent of Butte, Montana – a notorious dumping ground for FBI agents that J. Edgar Hoover didn’t like – or some lesser colony when the sun never set on the British Empire. The troops sent to occupy a Mediterranean backwater they’d most likely never heard of until they arrived at their duty station weren’t happy campers to begin with.
        Moreover, given the seething anger that commonly permeates military and police ranks, finding some perceived inferior being on which to vent their frustrations quite likely constituted entertainment. Thus, it is thoroughly conceivable that the crucifixion of Jesus more resembled a Southern white lynching of an uppity black than the formal execution of a presumed peer. Attempts to pacify a segment of the Jewish populace yelling for blood in the background may have added further excesses to already indecorous proceedings.

        1. KNow, I’m not sure I would classify it as a back water. After all Palestine had two cities named after the Caesars, Caligula had already caused a major uproar in the 40’s, and it was the first place of attack against Parthia. It wasn’t just a border town, but the border town.

          1. Looking at things in retrospect from an historical and strategic point of view, you are correct. On the other hand, as often the case with latter day armies of occupation, Roman soldiers two millennia ago probably saw things differently.

  2. All things considered, I’d rather be in Caesarea, than sitting on Hadrian’s wall or in Germania in the winter, with barbarians waiting to storm my position. If I’m going to die, rather do it with the sun up, in a warm climate, eating figs and dates.

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