Timothy D. Padgett on If You’re Bored, I Suggest You Watch “The Chosen”

While many are starting the transition back to offices and whatnot, there are still those of us setting up shop at home. As we enter yet another week of this unusual arrangement, I’m sure a great number have come to point of the vultures in Disney’s “The Jungle Book,” where we’ve run out ideas about how to spend our time.

Now, maybe your life is busy enough as it is and you don’t need any suggestions to fill the hours, but I think there are enough who are a little sick of all this “freedom.”

Perhaps you’re a hobby sort of person, and this unexpected pause is just the time you need to take up whittling or to write the next great American novel. Good for you! But, if you’re like me, you’re also rather keen to find something to watch. I don’t mean candy-vision, the sort of movie or show that is little more than empty intellectual calories but leaves you no better off for the experience. I mean something of substance, something where you come out of your screen time improved from when you entered.

One that I can happily recommend is “The Chosen,” available through VidAngel. This is a life of Christ funded in a decidedly unorthodox way. Rather than seeking out financial support in the ordinary manner, “The Chosen” has become the biggest crowd funded media project in history. Now, I’ve only seen the first eight episodes, but, since there are at present only eight, I’m comfortable saying that it’s been worth my time thus far.

Making such a solid experience is apparently harder than it seems. It’s sad to say but it’s more often true than not that movies about the life of Christ are pretty lousy. Either the production is substandard on artistic grounds or the creators are so intent on massaging the message for their own agendas than they miss the point.

All you have to do is watch 1965’s “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” Despite being co-directed by my favorite director, David Lean, and having an outstanding mid-century cast, including the late, great Max von Sydow as Jesus, the movie is strangely bloodless. I don’t mean that there’s no blood, but the people in it are closer to ghosts than men. The Christ of that film, along with most of the characters, don’t really seem real, don’t seem quite human. It is all too otherworldly an impression of the carpenter from Nazareth who bled and died for you and me.

The other problem comes when we try to make it too much this-worldly, too much of this time, of this moment. You can see this in the delightful 1973 movie, “Godspell.” I say delightful because it really is a lot of fun, and sometimes they get at the pathos of a scene from the Gospels that stays with you. Nonetheless, such a presentation cannot but be a caricature of the true story. By removing it from its original context and placing it in ours, we strip away much of the significance of what was said and done in that day.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Timothy D. Padgett