Risen – the Movie

With some good actors (eg. Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Cliff Curtis), and promising trailers, oh that we might have a religious film that is worth going to the cinema for. I hope for a movie that can be watched by the intelligent devout as well as atheist and agnostic. The recent Noah and Exodus were just dreadful.

The film tells the story from the point of view of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman Military Tribune, who, with Lucius (Tom Felton), are investigating what happened to the body of Jesus (Cliff Curtis) after his crucifixion. The Roman fear is of an uprising in Jerusalem.

I knew that a movie on the life of Saint Paul was in the pipeline (with Hugh Jackman playing Paul), but I had missed any news of Risen. It is said to open on February 19. That gives little time for preparation to make the best use of this film.

In the trailer, I notice the Shroud of Turin. The film may not make much of this, or that may become part of the discussion. I hope that the Resurrection appearances are not too cringe-worthy; I suspect they are the most difficult to present.

Cinema is a powerful way to make connection with faith, often providing wonderful material for teaching and preaching, but Christian and religious films are, more often than not, the least useful for making those connections. The trailers may be the best bits, connecting with secular viewers; let us hope that is not the case, and that these are indicative of the quality of the film and not the opposite of the rest of the movie.

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