‘Can anything good come out of Southern California?’* (*hyperlink to John 1:46)
The Christian critical reception of elliptical Jesus narratives
in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
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This chapter reviews the critical reception of two films which depict fictional accounts of events in the life of Jesus by Christian reviewers and organisations. The Young Messiah (2016) has been positively received by Christian critics, even attaining the ‘Faith-Friendly’ seal of approval from The Dove Foundation, in spite of negative mainstream criticism. Last Days in the Desert (2015), despite having a major star attached, had a weaker distribution deal and was praised for cinematic quality by both mainstream and Christian critics, though more hesitantly recommended by Christian critics for having a somewhat uncertain relationship to institutionally approved faith. This exploration into faith-based reception will aid in the understanding of the relationship between the texts in this modern wave of biblical epics, and what Christians desire to see, stylistically and thematically, in clearly fictional explorations of their religion’s most sacred figures.

The Bible onscreen in the new millennium

New heart and new spirit

Editor: Wickham Clayton



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