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Movies for Lent and Easter

By Gloria Falcao Dodd, Director of Academic Programs, International Marian Research Institute

A friend of mine from another country asked me why American television does not show movies about the life of Jesus during Holy Week the way her country does. I explained that some channels do, but since she hadn't seen them, I suggested that she watch some videos on her own. Here are some recommendations:

1. Risen by Affirm Films, 2016 (107 minutes). While it deserves its PG-13 rating for "Biblical violence," this is a well-told story of a Roman Legionary in search of the body of Jesus. What he discovers is life-changing!

2. Walk the Way of the Cross by Journeys of Faith, (30 minutes). A combination documentary and prayer experience with Bob and Penny Lord, sweet grandparents sharing their love and practical wisdom.

3. The Life of Christ: The Redeemer and The Life of Christ: The Master, also released as The Life of Christ: The Sorrowful Mysteries and The Life of Christ: The Glorious Mysteries by Family Theatre Productions, 1957 (90 minutes each). Five segments of drama done in a lavish Hollywood style.

4. The Passion of the Christ, Icon Productions, 2004 (126 minutes). An intense movie that deserves the R rating for violence, this movie is for mature viewers. It is appreciated by many for its spiritual treatment of a serious topic and dialogue in the original languages of Aramaic and Latin, as well as a tender portrayal of Mary's maternal relationship with Christ.

For the young, and the young at heart:

1. Jesus for Kids by Vision Video, 2005 (50 minutes) — A sweet animation with five 10 minute programs for children ages 4-6. "Program Five: The First Easter" conveys the sorrow and the joy of Holy Week in an age-appropriate way.

2. Superbook: He is Risen! by the Christian Broadcasting Network, 2013 (30 minutes) — A beautiful video-game style told by a time-traveling trio who accompany Mary as she endures a parent's worst experience, the death of her Child, made relevant to today's families. Due to the violence inherent to the story, parents should preview the movie to decide if it is appropriate for their young children.

For free access to these great Lenten and Easter videos, along with other seasonal favorites, browse the many offerings in the reading room of the Marian Library conveniently located on the seventh floor of Roesch Library! To check the hours of the Marian Library and video availability, visit
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