Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Exodus - The Films

As I mentioned, my wife and I are attempting to read the Bible in 90 days. So while we finished Genesis last week, we finished the book of Exodus this weekend.

In writing my previous post on "Genesis films," Peter T. Chattaway directed me towards a post he wrote for Christianity Today's blog about Genesis films. His list was more exhaustive then mine. Yet still, I feel like the relative power and success of these Genesis-film-attempts are weak in comparison to the powerful multi-layered narrative that is spun through the literal text of Genesis, first book of the Bible.

Now, the second book, Exodus doesn't have as many "characters," sex, or hand-to-hand combat, but it certainly has a powerful story, of a God who redeems his people after 400 years captive to the Israelites...it was through God's providence and leading of Joseph that led this Israelites in to slave labor.

When it comes to films about the narrative Exodus, most logically avoid the last half of the book that deals with the ordinances and design of the temple, but they are shameless in following the story of Moses, from birth to the his encounters with God at mount Sinai.

Two films tell the story so exceptionally well: The Ten Commandments (1956, staring Charleton Heston), and the animated Prince of Egypt (1998).

Turns out, there are far more films about Genesis then I could ever imagine, but these films are generally unsuccessful and unsatisfying. In contrast, two films that tell the story of Exodus excel in an incredibly satisfying way.

Directors take note, Cecile B. DeMille create magic with the Bible, these powers have power. Don't leave such epic stories to amateur directors.

Posts in the series: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the story of Joseph is largely about a man who God protected from death, found favor, gave power and influence to help save God's people from the ensuing famine in Egypt. It really is almost a rags to riches sort of story that I think really resonates with people - and perhaps a much easier story to tell than those found in Genesis. I think when you talk about Noah and the flood or Adam and Eve eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and some of the other narritives in Genesis, perhaps they do not resonate with people who are not believers because the stories really demonstrate the power of God to do miraculous, grand acts that require faith to really connect with.