I have had a DVD that someone loaned to me on my shelf for, I would say, about two years now. (So if you have loaned me book or DVD that I have not yet returned, there is hope!) The DVD is a movie produced by BBC Wales called “The Miracle Maker.” (You can view the full movie on youtube.) I never got around to watching it because, well, I had my fill of religious cartoons during my childhood and I have at least watched, and often researched, most movies about the life of Jesus. This one never appeared on my radar.
However, Emerson and I were looking for something to watch tonight and so we pulled it out. I have to say, the movie made a big impact on my experience of triduum (Easter season) this year. It is beautifully animated in claymation, it includes the voices of Ralph Fiennes, William Hurt, and Alfred Molina, among others. And the movie does a better job than any other movie I have seen in capturing the life of Jesus. It plays selectively and loosely with scriptural narratives to really bring out the essence of Jesus’ life and ministry. Jesus’ ministry as teacher, healer, and religious reformer comes across clearly. The triangulation of Jesus, the Roman Empire, and those would seek to overthrow the empire (this movie places Judas Iscariot in this camp) is highlighted more effectively than in any movie I have seen. Emerson and I both teared up at the crucifixion!
I would heartily recommend to adults and children. It’s a great family night movie that is also suitable for the most experienced scholar of the life of Jesus.