RESURRECTION, debuting March 27 on the new discovery+, takes viewers straight to the heart of Holy Week with a message of sacrificial love and hope.
From MGM and LightWorkers—a division of MGM—it is produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (The Bible miniseries, A.D., Son of God, and Ben Hur). Directed by Ciarán Donnelly and with a score by Hans Zimmer, it stars Juan Pablo Di Pace (Jesus), Adam Levy (Peter), Richard Coyle (Caiaphas), Joanne Whalley (Claudia), Vincent Regan (Pilate), Jodhi May (Leah), Babou Ceesay (John), Chipo Chung (Mary Magdalene), Greta Scacchi (Mother Mary), Jóhannes Haukar Jóhannesson (Thomas), Pedro Lloyd Gardiner (Matthew), Fraser Ayres (Simon The Zealot), Will Thorp (Cornelius), Kevin Doyle (Joseph of Arimathea), Ken Bones (Annas), Denver Isaac (James), and Chris Brazier (Reuben)
RESURRECTION is a biblical epic on the aftermath of the earth-shattering event of Jesus’ crucifixion in first century Jerusalem. Seen from the viewpoint of Jesus’ disciples, it opens with Jesus’ trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin, and quickly takes viewers on an emotional and devastating journey as they watch their beloved Teacher face a mock court, be tortured, and then crucified. His death leaves them disillusioned, hunted, and afraid. Then, the unbelievable happens; Jesus rises from the dead. Days before the disciples were terrified and fearful; now His resurrection births hope, faith, and a love that will change the world.
RESURRECTION has everything fans of biblical epics love. The production values are stellar. The costumes and sets look like they came straight out of first century Jerusalem. Hans Zimmer’s score is beautiful. The special effects are stunning, especially the angels; no wimpy Valentine angels here. Considering that the filmmakers had to squeeze so much into 90 minutes, the script is strong and respectful to Scripture, launching viewers immediately into the events of Jesus’ suffering.
The acting is strong and the characters three-dimensional. Pabolo Di Pace’s portrayal of Jesus is fully divine and fully human. He answers the High Priest Caiaphas and the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate without blinking an eye; yet He cries out in excruciating pain when the thick nails are driven into His hands and feet. Adam Levy’s portrayal of Peter takes the big fisherman from shock, dismay, and guilt to amazement, repentance, and faith. Babou Ceesay portrays John as a strong man who grieves the loss of his teacher and friend, but has no problem quickly believing Mary Magdalene’s (Chipo Chung) shocking claim that Jesus has risen. Greta Scacchi as Mother Mary shows a mother’s heart and love; her weeping over the body of Jesus at the foot of the cross is heart-rending. Kevin Doyle portrays Joseph of Arimathea as a man of faith and honor, while Richard Coyle portrays High Priest Caiaphas as a man whose faith is centered around power. Vincent Regan’s Pontius Pilate is a man of duty, yet weary from having to deal with the emotional Jews.
As with any biblical film, there are going to be scenes left out or an interpretation of Scripture that some viewers might disagree with. However, whenever you take a historic document and turn it into a movie, there are going to be choices on what needs to be kept in, what to cut, and how Holy Scripture is interpreted.
For parents who wonder about showing RESURRECTION to their children; while this film is not as bloody as The Passion of the Christ, and the graphic crucifixion scenes are deftly handled, the reality of Christ’s suffering is not diminished. Watching this film as a family could spark discussions of what Holy Week is all about.