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In Nazareth, teenager Mary is betrothed to the local carpenter, Joseph. Mary is visited by an angel and told that she will fulfill a prophecy and as a virgin give birth to God's son, the savior of the world. Mary's pregnancy brings her the scorn of the community and Joseph struggles to believe her seemingly outlandish story. Meanwhile, a census forces every man and his family to return to his place of birth. Joesph and Mary set out on a long and arduous journey to Bethlehem. This story is based on the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ. Written by
This film combines the stories told in two different Gospels. In The Gospel According to Matthew, Joseph and Mary live in Bethlehem, but flee to avoid Herod's Massacre of the Innocents. Jesus is born, and his birth is attended by Three Wise Men. In The Gospel according to Luke, Mary and Joseph live in Nazareth, but travel to Bethlehem to register for Augustus Caesar's census. Jesus's birth is attended by Shepherds. Joseph and Mary subsequently return safely to Nazareth. Historians have taken issue with both stories. Herod's Massacre of the Innocents is not found in any other historical records. While the Romans did take censuses regularly, they differ from the census described in the Gospels in two ways: first, inhabitants were not required to return to their ancestral homelands. Secondly, men could file as heads of household, thus registering themselves, their wives, and any children they had or were expecting. Thus, it was highly unlikely that Joseph would have to travel to Bethlehem if he lived in Nazareth, much less take with him a woman so close to giving birth. See more »
Many times the Romans soldiers were shown with beards or shabby facial hair, the Romans at this time considered body hair to be barbaric, and therefore it was forbidden. See more »
[places hand over stomach for a moment and then runs over to Elizabeth]
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A must see event for thoughtful families this season
Although the Nativity seems like it happened a long time ago, 2000 years is only one sixth of recorded history, and one fiftieth of the time that homo sapiens has existed. The physical features of Palestine, Isreal, and Egypt are for all intents and purpose identical to what they are now. The people, while shorter and thinner, are indistinguishable from ourselves. Although there is certainly differences of opinion as to all religious elements of Christianity as it relates to Christ, Mary, and Joseph, it is somewhat well established that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph did exist, as did King Herod, the astrological phenomenon of the Star, the census, etc. In that light, "The Nativity Story" is a reverend and authentic attempt to successfully convey the words, actions, and general physical and political environment of that time. It is also an attempt to convey the physical hardships of the time, the economy of thought and word, the limited aspirations of people 2000 years ago, and the simple faith that has a good deal to do with the success of Western culture to this day. The acting is totally appropriate, while many have commented that Keisha Castle Hughes is emotionless, and Joseph simple of thought and action, it reflects the attitude of a world where 50% of children died, and an above average life was to be married at 14 and dead at 40. The supporting actors are totally believable, even the wise men who offer limited comic relief are appropriately reverend and humble. The scenery and cinematography are magnificent. All in all a must see for everyone old enough to understand the story- probably 8 and up.
With the materialistic, sarcastic garbage out there about Christmas light wars, drunken Santas, etc this is an ideal way for a whole family to spend a night at Christmas and reflect afterwords as to what they saw.
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