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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 ... See full summary »
The grand and ancient stories of the Old Testament reach back to the very beginnings of human civilization. The story begins with Abraham, who traveled from the land of Sumer through Haran then down into Canaan and Egypt. We see images of his tribe set to reverent music traveling and arriving at the promised land, only to start fighting amongst one another until Lot and his party split from Abraham.
God and 2 angels appear in human form to Abraham, who, on their way to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reveal to Abraham that his wife Sarah will bear him a son. Years later, his son Isaac is nearly killed by the aging Abraham in a climactic scene quite well done, until the voice of God stays his knife wielding hand.
We then move to the story of Jacob, who deceives Abraham into giving the birthright normally reserved for the firstborn (of Isaac, Esau) to himself. Esau's anger drives Jacob away to the city of Haran, where Laban, brother of Rebecca (Isaac's wife) tends his sheep. Jacob agrees to work for 7 then 7 more years to win the second daughter of Laban, Rachael, as his wife.
Jacob, after 20 years, decides to return to the land of Canaan, only to meet his brother Esau and his soldiers. As his people are surrounded by armed men, Jacob begs forgiveness and is granted such by Esau. They part ways and the movie closes with Jacob leading his people back into Canaan.
This Italian movie, available as part of a set of DVD's in a box entitled "Epics of the Old Testament" (VCI), is also available separately as of this writing. The DVD image quality is not so good, but it is presented in widescreen, albeit non-anamorphic letter-boxed. So, you will have to zoom to view it on your wide screen TV.
I was impressed with the production values, the music, and the reverent tone of the movie. It did have its occasional awkwardly delivered lines and expressions, but overall the acting was acceptable. If you enjoy some of the greatest stories that have ever been told, this movie and the boxed set is something worth having and enjoying.
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