Local minister weighs in on Nativity Story film

By: Laurie Ott Email
By: Laurie Ott Email

December 1, 2006

There hasn't been a huge marketing campaign to let you know about it, but there's a movie out in local theaters called The Nativity Story.

Here's what a local minister has to say about the film featuring perhaps the most famous story ever told.

It's a movie that's not getting a lot of buzz. This PG film has quietly appeared on movie screens, including several in Augusta.

It is the telling of the birth of Christ, and it's true to what you'll find in the Bible, says Rev. Roger Murcheson of First Baptist Church of Augusta.

"The Nativity story is the one we find in Matthew and Luke, and the movie blends them, which is appropriate because that's what we do in our mind's eye," he said.

And while most of the movie is perfectly appropriate for families, there are some parts Rev. Murcheson says parents should know about.

"I would say third graders and up," he suggested. "Maybe for Pre-K it would be a little disturbing. There are some dark moments in the film."

The natural tendency might be to compare it to The Passion of the Christ, the last major movie about Jesus.

"It really isn't, because Mel Gibson really made a different kind of movie," Rev. Murcheson said. "His was heavy handed, bombastic, cruel. But this one is more of a very gentle movie--a lot of Hallmark card moments and music."

Rev. Murcheson said he did really enjoy the movie, and that he'd recommend it.

Something else you'll notice is that the movie really fleshes out the character of Joseph. He gets a lot of dialogue in this movie, and his role is one of a caring husband and father.

The Nativity Story was directed by a woman known for edgier films. Catherine Hardwicke made Lords of Dogtown and Thirteen before directing this film.

This movie is the first ever to premiere at the Vatican.

Also, it was made very quickly. The screenwriter only began one year ago, and filming began in May.

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