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January 28, 2016

Is This Something?

Risen, a mystery/thriller about a Roman centurion charged with tracking down Christ's body to dispel rumors of his resurrection, and thereby quell a Jewish uprising.

As pure propaganda -- and "propaganda" has a strictly neutral meaning for anyone who actually knows the word -- I don't think I've heard a better plotline for evangelizing.

The trick here is that the movie actually begins (I imagine) like a pretty secular affair -- we've got a political problem with this uprising of Jews and these silly claims, so we're sending in a detective to find the body.

I don't think, in this movie, the centurion is going to find the body.

So what begins as a secular detective mystery (with odd historical trappings) winds up as a conversion piece.

That's pretty brilliant, isn't it?

It's a religious movie (I assume) that isn't even definitely religious until, say, the last fifteen minutes or so.* Heck, even I could sit through that, and I really don't like religious movies.

Plus, given that (I imagine) pretty much all of this is made up (unless you guys know of a story of the Roman centurion charged with this task), the writers wouldn't have the problems that dog movies like Noah, with people shooting down things for, allegedly, not being properly scriptual. All they really need for scripture here is a bit of Roman history and a very little bit (I assume) taken from the Bible.

* Well I imagine there are lots of ambiguous, is-He-or-isn't-He hints dropped before then, with, I imagine, that sort of musical cue they now use in every movie to suggest the holy and mysterious. (Sort of an ancient middle eastern fanfare.) Like the hints of the Ark's power in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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posted by Ace at 08:08 PM

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