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Genre and the birth and childhood

This chapter examines various post-2004 adaptations of the Nativity and how they innovate within or deviate from the conventions of the biblical epic as it has traditionally been understood. Starting with the historical biblical epics from the silent era through to The Passion of the Christ (2004), it will outline the factors that have tended to demarcate biblical epics from other genres. It will then use these elements a lens to examine five recent biblical films about the birth and childhood of Jesus. These films all take different approaches to examining the stories of the birth and childhood of Jesus. Whilst many of the above elements of biblical epics are present, none of these films sit squarely within all of the confines of the genre. Moreover, the manner in which they deviate from those conventions and adopt alternative approaches points towards new possibilities for the genre.

in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium