(Rome: Millennium Films International, 2000. Inquiries AD Books)
Reading from the Bible never satisfied completely my imagination as to what Jesus was like, nor my sense of the presence of this most influential person who ever lived. While a movie depiction can help bridge this gap, it is especially important that it portray the Son of God correctly and respectfully.
In this regard, the Jubilee Edition Video Jesus is highly successful, managing to capture a vivid sense of Jesus, his life and times. The movie, which is based on Luke's gospel, focuses on Jesus' miracles and sermons. It is faithful to the gospel and delivers the authentic message of Jesus in a powerful way.
Having commenced with the Annunciation, Visitation and Presentation, Jesus briefly covers the childhood of Christ. Later, the everyday examples Our Lord used to deliver God's message to an uneducated and predominantly illiterate people are presented as equally relevant for our times as they were 2000 years ago.
We see Jesus as the "peoples' saviour" who preaches among the everyday men and women of Israel, providing a present day audience with a stronger appreciation of Jesus' love for mankind, rich and poor. There are numerous scenes where the faith and devotion of people coming into contact with Jesus clearly shines out.
A major challenge for any film on the life of Jesus is how to depict his passion and death on the cross. In Jesus the violence of Our Lord's death is gut-wrenching and breathtaking: seeing the nails being driven into his hands really stuck in my mind, and would, one hopes, influence anyone who sees the film, when next tempted to sin. The potential for such a beneficial influence makes Jesus a valuable resource.
The part of Jesus himself was well portrayed, with a loving, friendly down-to-earth character who, nevertheless, radiates a sense of holiness among the people. I strongly recommend this video.
Johanna O'Farrell is a Melbourne Catholic secondary school student.