Monday, December 31, 2007

Review of The Nativity Story

Recently I had the chanced to watch the film The Nativity Story and I thought I would write a brief review. The music was very good, and at the end, when the family flees to Egypt, I was struck at the sight of the pyramids, and how Christ's exodus from Egypt parallels the exodus from sin that we all go through.

Other than that, I thought the film was blasphemous. First, Mary is portrayed as a whinny brat and not the beautiful lady "full of grace" that she should be. About Joseph she says, "How am I expected to marry a man that I do not love?" This concept would not be one that she would have expressed, even if she was a sinner, due to the culture of her time. Similarly, when our Lord is born, Mary experienced birth pains, something that she did not.

"[T]he report concerning the child was noised abroad in Bethlehem. Some said, ‘The Virgin Mary has given birth before she was married two months.’ And many said, ‘She has not given birth; the midwife has not gone up to her, and we heard no cries of pain’" (Ascension of Isaiah 11 [A.D. 70]).

Mary experienced pains when the Church was born on Calvary.

I was also very disturbed that Mary had her palm read in the temple marketplace. Lastly, many people like the film because of its portrayal of Joseph. I have a strong devotion to Saint Joseph, praying to him daily, and I was very disappointed in the way he was portrayed as well. While we see his self-sacrificial love, he was portrayed as too sinful for my taste. It is a long-standing tradition in the Church that Joseph, while born with Original Sin, never committed sin and that Saint John the Baptist also was sinless, being cleansed of Original Sin at the Visitation.

Putting all this together, I am sad to say that I cannot recommend the film to people.

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