This is a great use of anyone's five hours. Sure, the desert setting and faded print can leave it a touch monochromatic (beige), and the pace can be sedate, but how many films cover the period of what happened in the months and years after the Resurrection? Rossellini masterfully conveys the faith that allowed the early Christians to persist against persecution and, when their teachings fell on stony ground amongst the Jews, to overcome the constraints of tradition and go out to preach amongst the Gentiles. One hears the passionate debates of the very early Church and understands the inner strength of believers that drove every decision to travel from one's home, every willingness to suffer for a greater cause. With largely credible sets and actors and dramatic scenes, one follows every twist and turn with real empathy.
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