My speaker bio has always included “movies that tell a good story” - I am not sure when I became so enraptured by the power of film, but I have always loved its’ ability to bring story to life. Since I skip all the gore in theaters this time of year, I was excited to get my movie fix by curling up with the family when Sony/Affirm films asked me to review their production, Journey to Bethlehem.
Hot on the heels of the sold-out juggernaut, Hamilton, musicals have become en vouge for even the youngest of audiences and you will be singing all these catchy showtunes as well. Our family’s favorite was sung by For King and Country’s Joel Smallbone playing Herod’s son, Antipater.
Even the opening credits display breathtaking topography that immediately pulls you into the grandeur and grit of the nomadic life represented in Scripture. Scenes were beautiful, artistic, and kid-friendly, yet all throughout portray the gravitas of what Mary and Joseph must have felt in their adult problems as their struggles with faith, uncertainty, and forbearance are palpable. Using creative license, this historical narrative reveals the humanity of this young couple as the main premise. The ever-present fight of good and evil is also portrayed via the political tumult of jeopardized thrones and a ruthless King Herod.
Overall, the film is fast-paced, whimsical, and innocent, yet boldly challenges what you assumed about each character’s plight with thought-provoking scenes that invigorate a timeless story. JTB is not intended to be a seriously accurate portrayal of Jesus’ birth, but a fun story of what it “might have been like”. It is appropriate for any age and stage and could serve as the perfect invitation this Christmas for those who may not yet know Jesus.
CEO, Able Moms International