His name is known around the globe, often in different incarnations, his story is timeless, surviving more than two thousand years. There is little doubt he walked the earth but was he the son of God or an extraordinary man spreading love and peace? Did he perform miracles, heal, raise the dead, and himself come back from the dead after being crucified? I do not know, no one does.
I do not believe in God, but do believe in the teachings of Christ. I do not believe in heaven but something happens after we die. I held my beautiful wife in my arms as she slipped out of this life, felt her last breath, and experienced something in that room incredible, a transfer of energy I cannot explain, as though she was leaving the shell of her body behind. Something happened in that room at the moment of her death, but I cannot explain what.
It is rather astounding there are so few films made about Jesus Christ, and even more shocking, so few good ones. Hollywood has made many films from the Bible, some great, some not, but surprisingly few about Christ. Those great are each unique, exploring life and death in their own special way, while the lesser films are paint by numbers stories of Jesus, Sunday school lessons, and that is being kind.
The first important film about Jesus was Cecil B. DeMille’s ‘The King of Kings’ (1927) made at the beginning of the sound era, but silent. DeMille cast fifty year old H. B. Warner as Jesus, and though too old, the actor was a fine Christ. The director set the template by which all future Jesus would be built, white robes, beautiful, peaceful face bathed in serene light, a man we believe could walk on water, but not a man, a being. It was unfortunate
As Martin Scorsese wisely observed, so many films about Christ portray him as Demille did, that is the gentle, beautific man, a glow about him, serene, other worldly, with a halo and light surrounding his face. He speaks gently, moves purposefully, at peace with who he is. Well, not likely. The history of the time confirms he existed, but he was just a man, a remarkable man, but flesh and blood like you and I. The best films about Christ are the ones in which he is portrayed as as a man. However extraordinary.