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Joseph and Mary
Herod took their freedom, he took their sons, and he took their forgiveness. Now for one Israelite rabbi Elijah (Steven McCarthy) revenge is all he seeks. When his life comes in contact with that of a unique boy from Nazareth--Jesus (Lucius Hoyos)--will his thirst for revenge stand, or will his heart be wondrously transformed by a family’s kindness and compassion?
Starring Kevin Sorbo (Confessions of a Prodigal Son, God’s Not Dead) as Joseph and Lara Jean Chorostecki as Mary, Joseph and Mary tells a story of redemption, mercy and forgiveness in journey throughout ancient Israel. Experience the birth of Jesus, the Magi, Anna and Simeon, his childhood, and his death on a cross. See the lives and hearts of those around him be transformed with his love, and follow Elijah’s journey as he struggles to trade revenge for forgiveness.
Based on the classic Biblical story of Jesus’ birth and childhood Joseph and Mary offers a new look at the familiar gospel story. It not only portrays a new telling of the birth of Jesus, however, but weaves in the lives of individuals who were effected by his early life. Joseph and Mary offers a glimpse into what Jesus may have been like as a child, how his love and compassion was manifested from an early age. It also portrays his parents, as they selflessly care for those around them and seek to understand their son’s boundless compassion. Joseph and Mary is a beautiful display of how Mary, Joseph, and Jesus lived as a light and love in a time full of hatred, sorrow, and fear.
Central to the story found in the film Joseph and Mary, is the idea that mercy and forgiveness should always be chosen over revenge. Before Jesus’ birth, both Mary and Joseph seek to show forgiveness and love to those around them. Even while the rest of their society responds with hatred to Herod’s cruelty and violence. When the two sons of an Israelite woman named Rebekah (Katie Boland), whom Elijah had sworn to protect, are killed in Herod’s order following the Magi’s visit, Rebekah and Elijah respond with hatred and a desire for revenge. As they watch, talk, and listen to Jesus and his parents, however, they begin to wonder if revenge is really the right choice. Throughout the film Jesus constantly stresses the fact that our Heavenly Father forgives our sins, and we should respond with love and mercy to all around us--no matter what they have done. While a bit heavy on the violence side, the film Joseph and Mary makes up for it with the wonderful theme of mercy and forgiveness in exchange for hatred and revenge.
Another wonderful theme throughout Joseph and Mary is kindness and compassion, and not only from Jesus, but also from his parents. While the story of Jesus Christ is central to this movie, it also focuses quite a bit on his parents, Mary and Joseph. It is quite interesting to watch the earthly parents of Jesus Christ try to figure out how to raise the Son of God. It is also interesting to see their compassion and acts of kindness prior to his birth, just as much as they act kindly after his birth. While conversations between Jesus and Elijah work to change Elijah’s heart, he also speaks to Joseph and Mary quite a bit. The portrayal of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus as a family of love, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy is very unique, powerful, and thought provoking.
Because this film focuses so much on Jesus’ childhood, it makes Joseph and Mary a wonderful film for older children as well as adults. Much of the gospels focus on Jesus’ birth and later life, with only his excursion at the temple when he was twelve years old told in between. These ages (infant and adult) are often reflected in films portraying the life of Christ, which means seeing Jesus as a child in films is very rare. Because there is little regarding Jesus’ childhood in the Bible, viewers should be warned that much of the story in Joseph and Mary is creative license, but it is still very powerful. For children, this film serves as a powerful reminder that Jesus was not just born and then suddenly became a man. He was a child too. He played, learned, and had earthly parents to love and obey just as they do. It is also a powerful reminder that Jesus loved, forgave, and had compassion when he was young and when he was old. It is a visual reminder that he was working to develop a relationship with his heavenly father from a young age, and serving those around him as a child and as an adult. For older children, seeing Jesus portrayed as a child serves as a powerful reminder that he can empathize with their struggles, and he calls them to serve him now, not just in the future.
Joseph and Mary is a wonderful film portraying Jesus’ life through new eyes, and with new messages. Not only will viewers be inspired by the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, however, they will also be challenged by Elijah’s journey of faith. You will be inspired by the compassion, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness portrayed in the film, and filled with hope that the gospel message can transform any heart, no matter how bitter and full of hate.
Joseph and Mary has not been rated by the Motion Picture Association of America, and does include violence and issues not suitable for younger viewers. The film Joseph and Mary received the “Faith Friendly” award for ages twelve and up from the Dove Foundation. As always, it is recommend that parents preview all content to determine what is suitable for their children. This film is considered appropriate for older audiences.
Joseph and Mary has a total run time of 83 minutes.