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Enrico Lo Verso,
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Regardt van den Bergh
The Old Testament story of Abraham and the trials he endures. Commanded by God to lead his family to the promised land of Canaan with the promise that if he does so, his descendants will become a great and numerous tribe. His obedience, as well as that of his children and grandchildren, is severely tested as they prove their faith to God. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
ABRAHAM, a TV film made in 1993, seeks to condense much of the story of the Book of Genesis, most of it involving the character of Abraham and his efforts to secure passage to the promised land where he will become the founder of a new people.
Unlike many television films, this one has strong production values, not least in the outstanding Moroccan locations (representative of the Middle East). Truly, this is a film in which the landscape is a character in itself, and the sun-scorched locales are really something.
Richard Harris delivers a grand old turn as the put-upon Abraham, tasked with undergoing much hardship and challenge by the Creator. Although the film is episodic in nature, going through much familiar ground (the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the sacrifice of the child, the journey to Egypt) the reason it works so well is because it creates identifiable and realistic characters, not just figures lifted from the page.
Therefore Barbara Hershey's Sarah becomes a petulant and rather selfish character; Maximilian Schell's Pharaoh is a vain and pompous monster; and Carolina Rosi and Gottfried John give the best performances, really stealing their scenes with their emotional turns. Be warned, this is a long - 3 hour - production, and slow-moving in parts, but it does the job well.
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