The carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth, tormented by the temptations of demons, the guilt of making crosses for the Romans, pity for men and the world, and the constant call of God, sets out to find what God wills for Him. But as His mission nears fulfillment, He must face the greatest temptation; the normal life of a good man. Based, not on the Gospels, but on Nikos Kazantzakis' novel of the same name. Written by
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The film opens with a printed text, translated from the writings of Nikos Kazantzakis. It contains the line "My principle anguish and source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh." The word "principle" is used incorrectly, the correct context is "principal." This mistake has not been corrected in any home video release despite being widely noted ever since the movie first came out. See more »
See, this is what happens when a man swears off sex; the semen backs up into his brain!
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Just before the credits, there is a flash of colors which leads to the credits "paged up" behind a yellow background. See more »
This is a beautiful film. It is one of the most powerful and ultimately one of the greatest films ever made, without a doubt. The performances, especially by Willem Dafoe as Jesus, are amazing; the sets and costumes are realistic and never feel forced, glossy, or stylized (and were based on extensive archaeological and philological research); Peter Gabriel's score is absolutely unbelievable...I cannot possibly praise this film enough, as well as Mr. Scorcese's courage in making such a bold and beautiful work of art in the face of considerable opposition.
It is really best to avoid religious and theological arguments about this film - it is simply a portrait of Christ coming to terms with who he is and what he must do. If it occasionally portrays Jesus in a manner that is somewhat at odds with that of scripture, try to keep in mind that it is merely another take on a story that has no absolute and authoritative telling. That Jesus has difficulty coming to terms with the role he must play is something that scripture does not rule out.
Consider it this way: this is the sort of film that has the power to convince the irreligious or non-Christians out there (of which I am one) of the importance, beauty, depth, and truth of Jesus' vision of a world filled with love and compassion. Give this movie a chance. You will not be disappointed.
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