In Judea, the emergence of a new Messiah is greeted with alarm by both the Roman Protectorate and their Jewish collaborators. Although it puts him on a collision course with Pontius Pilate (Gary Oldman), the newly appointed governor, Jesus (Jeremy Sisto) begins his crusade to spread God's word. Mindful of Jesus's growing popularity, Pilate hopes the Jews will do his dirty work for him. Apprised of the miracles of the Wedding feast of Cana and the Rising of Lazarus from the dead, high priest Caiaphas (Christian Kohlund) campaigns successfully for Jesus's arrest. Taking advantage of a clemency law, Pilate offers the throngs their choice of freeing Barabbas (Claudio Amendola) or the Savior. The crowd's cries of "Give Us Barabbas!" are the prelude to the crucifixion and death of Jesus. The saga ends with the resurrection of Christ. Marred only by some incongruous performances (like that of Debra Messing), this exemplary biography makes a conscious effort to reveal the historical context of Jesus's brief life and ultimate fate. Effective on many levels, including political conspiracy drama, the script doesn't telegraph Jesus's eventual resurrection and sanctification, choosing instead to portray his life as a series of conflicts encompassing the suffering that flesh is heir to. Instead of suffusing his actions in a beatific light, this vivid miniseries shows his humor, his occasional temper, as well as his capacity for that most human and divine of emotions: love. Eschewing the usual stilted reverence associated with depictions of holiness, this production emphasizes the human side of Christ without demeaning his divinity.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: NR
- Review: In Judea, the emergence of a new Messiah is greeted with alarm by both the Roman Protectorate and their Jewish collaborators. Although it puts him on a collision course with Pontius Pilate (Gary Oldman), the newly appointed governor, Jesus (Jeremy Sisto) b… (more)