Friday, December 25, 2009

The Nativity - 2006 - complete film

The movie begins with the portrayal of the Massacre of the Innocents. The remainder of the movie portrays the annunciation (conception) and nativity (birth) of Jesus Christ to explain why King Herod (CiarĂ¡n Hinds) ordered the brutality.

Teenage Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes), betrothed to marry Joseph of Judea (Oscar Isaac), is spoken to by God and told that she is to deliver His child and call him Jesus. Mary then goes to stay with her cousin Elizabeth for the harvest, when she witnesses the birth of John the Baptist to Elizabeth (Shohreh Aghdashloo), who is past child bearing age, and her husband Zachariah (Stanley Townsend). Mary returns from the visit pregnant, to the shock of Joseph and her parents. Mary is accused of fornication, for which, if she is found guilty, she could be stoned to death in a public execution. At first Joseph does not believe Mary's explanation that she was visited by an angel, and that she has broken no vow of chastity. He resolves to quietly divorce her, but before he acts on this plan, he is visited by the very same angel. Joseph then believes Mary, and promises to marry her.

Meanwhile, King Herod has demanded that every man and his family must return to his place of birth for the census. For Joseph, as a direct descendant of King David, this involves a 110 kilometer trip across rocky terrain from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the place of his birth. Such a trip (with Mary on a donkey also carrying supplies, and given the terrain) would likely have taken several weeks. When they reach Bethlehem, Mary goes into labor. Joseph frantically seeks a place for the two to stay, but there is no room in any inn or home (thanks in part to the census). At the last minute, an innkeeper offers his stable for shelter.

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