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An ancient skeleton has been discovered in Jerusalem in a rich man's tomb. Colouration of the wrist and leg bones indicates the cause of death was crucifiction. other signs, include a gold coin bearing the marks of Pontius Pilate and faint markings around the skull, lead authorities to suspect that these could be the bones of Christ. Politicians, clerics, religious extremists and those using terror as a means to an end, find their beliefs and identities test while risking their lives to unearth the truth Written by
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God has no place in politicsthis is the theme of The Body, an interesting film, if not a particularly 'entertaining' one.
Antonio Banderas plays Father Matt Gutierrez, a priest sent by the Vatican to investigate the discovery of a tomb in Jerusalem, which may or may not contain the crucified remains of Christ. Gutierrez has been given instructions by the Vatican to declare that the remains are not those of Christ; but with all of the evidence suggesting otherwise, the priest must struggle with facing the fact that his religion may be founded on a lie, and that, perhaps, Jesus was never resurrected.
Questioning his faith is only the beginning of Gutierrez's problems: Orthodox Jews, angry at the tomb being disturbed, attack the archaeologists; the Israelis blackmail the Vatican, only offering to hand over the body if the Vatican recognises Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel; and the Palestinians, who get wind of Israel's plan and are naturally displeased, kidnap the children of sexy archaeologist Sharon Golban (Olivia Williams), forcing her into stealing the bones.
The movie, shot on location in Jerusalem, has beautiful cinematography and great acting from Banderas and Williams, but the complicated plot may cause many viewers to lose interest. Those with a particular interest in the subject matter will probably glean the most from this rather long and intricate tale, but I can imagine the casual viewer quickly becoming bored.
If you choose to watch this, I recommend that you stick it out to the end; you may not be riveted to the screen but, like me, you might learn a little about a fascinating subject.
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