The View From 1776

The Gospel of John

A movie most people will not hear about; a movie everybody should see.

Maggie’s Farm spotlights a really good and well done movie.  I found it a powerfully moving emotional experience.

Most people have formed a picture of Jesus Christ as a sort of mild-mannered wimp.  While no human being could possibly portray Jesus fully, a bit of His powerful personality becomes evident.  He was a man whose following was growing into the thousands as He travelled to Jerusalem for the Passover feast and His crucifixion.  The religious authorities had good reason to fear His effect on their position. 

Nobody was neutral toward Jesus.  He evoked reverence and adoration, fear, or hostile anger.  Pilate, the Roman governor, was bewildered and frightened by a man who calmly told him that no earthly being had power over Him, even as He stood in chains while the mob roared for His death.

The following comments add to the picture:

Henry Ian Cusick is brilliant portraying Jesus of Nazareth ,12 September 2003

Author: Andrew Dykstra (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) from Toronto, Canada

This film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Amazingly, it avoided all of the mistakes made in most other attempts to tell this story. The Bible’s presentation of the story of Jesus is based primarily on four narratives—each stamped with its author’s own personality and unique perspective.

Many previous films have sampled more than one of the Biblical narratives on the life of Christ. Also, they needlessly added scenes not found in the original sources. The authors of those screenplays in merely sampling from several sources, lost the unique focus of each respective author and diluted the overall effect of the story.

This film is based on John Goldsmith’s screenplay which deftly avoids all the laughably silly cliches of previous film versions. Goldsmith’s screenplay is based on only one man’s perspective, that of Jesus’ disciple John. Many stories with which the viewer is familiar, such as the nativity, are missing from John’s gospel and therefore also from this wonderfully complex and yet lucid screenplay. Jesus’ words are not here presented as pious platitudes, but occur within a context where Jesus responded to those around him.

The dialogue is solely based on the Good News Bible (also known as Today’s English Version) Christopher Plummer very ably supplies the verse by verse narration from the same source. His delivery re-enforces the clarity of what is on the screen. Most of the other actors were not known to me—which I felt helped. (What part could one give to an actor who previously portrayed a drug dealer?)

Jesus is brilliantly portrayed by Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus the man with human emotions, Jesus the visionary resented by the religious establishment of his day. This Jesus did not refer to them for his authority. Cusick, convincingly portrays Jesus the carpenter as a handsome, masculine, very charismatic man. Cusick is very much equal to the task. I spoke very briefly with Cusick after the screening, thanking him for his portrayal of a part that is loaded with hazards—all of which he avoided. I hope we see a great deal more of this fine actor.

The music by Jeff Danna is wonderful—well beyond what I could have hoped for.

One friend of mine at the screening expressed his concern that this film in portraying Jesus’ death at the hands of the Jewish establishment might make it vulnerable to accusations of Antisemitism. I reassured him that in its earliest days, Christianity was a sect within Judaism. Almost all the people portrayed in The Gospel of John were Jewish. It was not until the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70 that the Christian sect became predominately Gentile.

Director Philip Saville has done an enviable job directing a project that was fraught with artistic traps.

I hope this film receives very wide distribution. Even Christian conservatives should be very happy with it.

Visit MoveOff Network Members

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/30 at 11:14 PM
  1. I think Wallmart has this film. I'm gonna pick it up today or just order it online.

    Thanks for the heads up Tom.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/01  at  03:47 AM
  2. Kingdom of Heaven seems to be another promising film.

    It is directed by Ridley Scott, who did Blackhawk Down, Gladiator, and Alien. He will be a guest on Barry Kibrick's Between The Lines on KLCS-TV at 7PM in Los Angeles this coming Friday. Kibrick is very insightful, the last program I saw with author David Horowitz was very good. I believe that you can request a video or dvd by emailing to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    I was recently in communication with the Vietnam veteran who wrote the article here

    I wrote to him:
    "Putting this to the light in the eyes of the greater general public would devastate the libs, perhaps irrevocably. I may enter into the field of cinema in the future, God willing, and if so I will definitely capture this long neglected atrocious betrayal as one art project among others that I plan on producing. I am a careful person, so don't fear the prospect of my success as a potential counterproductive outcome. I would painstakingly avoid red-herrings and straw men or making it easy for people to dismiss the truth. Context is the slayer of sophistry. And the more meticulous I strain to be, the more trenchant I will force myself to make the message."

    The experience of our Vietnam veterans screams for justice. BTW, I wonder if anyone here has read M. Stanton Evans' Blacklisted By History. If you have a good review email it to me.

    Ann Coulter has made the point that a film renaissance could change the world. I remember Arnold Schwarzenneger in his 2004 RNC speech got into how John Wayne formed his impression of the United States as an Austrian boy. Imagine the impression that people are getting about the real America from the sewer of Hollywood today. How are we to win hearts and minds? But especially for the American public, I would like to capture all that I have learned and that I'm learning about what's going on in our increasingly corrupt academia. I think I would do a John Stossel-like "Give Me A Break" expose with credits to the film's inspirations, negative and positive that would be primarily for entertainment. Look at what Fox did in the cable News market. I know that there is a very large audience for entertainment that does not tow the libnesia line. From what I've read, South Park has Comedy Central's largest audience, and its a practical lib-bashing fest. I am not too good for that, but I believe that there are other things that we can do and have ideas about them, having "specialised" on the epistemology and historical roots and characteristics of the Left. I wish to help "Bluestaters" see that what is called liberalism is a tent for alien and primative ideologies while conservatism is an umbrella for classical liberalism and middle of the roaders.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/01  at  09:49 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.