When a CIA officer investigates a man attracting international attention and followers through acts of public disruption, she embarks on a global, high-stakes mission to uncover whether he is a divine entity or a deceptive con artist.
Lucifer Morningstar has decided he's had enough of being the dutiful servant in Hell and decides to spend some time on Earth to better understand humanity. He settles in Los Angeles - the City of Angels.
Messiah explores the lines among religion, faith and politics. It chronicles the modern world's reaction to a man who first appears in the Middle East creating a groundswell of followers around him claiming he is the Messiah. Is he sent from God or is he a dangerous fraud bent on dismantling the world's geopolitical order? The story unfolds from multiple points of view, including a young CIA agent, an Israeli Shin Bet officer, a Latino preacher and his Texan daughter, a Palestinian refugee and the media, among others.Written by
Thoughtful, Respectful, and Seriously Entertaining
As an ordained clergyperson myself, religion movies are often hard to watch because they get so many things wrong or treat subjects with an overly simplistic take. The writers of Messiah have not only crafted a well-written, compelling story with interesting characters and terrific acting, they've included real substance and authentic representation of religion.
The religious characters--Muslim, Christian, Jewish--are sympathetically presented with dignity and complexity. The religious texts and varying theologies are sensitively handled and respectfully addressed. Nor are religions presented in stereotypical ways: for example, Islam does believe that Jesus will return to herald in the end times, something not often known outside of Islam. But here, in Messiah, it is Muslims who first begin to follow al-Masih, believing him to be Isa (Jesus) returned.
At no point did I hear a character say something about a religious idea or do something in the guise of religion that was outlandish or the usual Hollywood version. The writers of this show clearly know what they're talking about and should be commended for that.
Further, the geopolitical, cultural, economic, and other issues are addressed in thoughtful ways that are not dumbed-down or simplified. They even manage to take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in thoughtful ways.
In addition to all of that, the story is gripping and keeps you guessing all the way through. As one who believes that authentic faith requires embracing uncertainty and doubt, in many ways, this representation of lots of different people struggling to figure out whether al-Masih is the messiah or a charlatan was pitch perfect.
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