In the final days leading up to Easter, it is, of course, common to bring out the biblical epics on film such as “The Ten Commandments” or dramas like “Ben-Hur.” You may even have the stomach to watch “The Passion of the Christ” one more time.
But this Easter season I wanted to dig through my archives and pull out some movie choices that are not entirely traditional in terms of their inspiring messages, but enjoyable movies in light of the sacred holiday nonetheless.
The Song of Bernadette: While I am not a big fan of movies about nuns, this classic movie about Bernadette Soubirous, a young girl who sees a vision of the Virgin Mary, does a better job than most of tackling the mysteries of the divine as well as Bernadette’s great personal struggles and ill treatment at the hands of others.
Charlotte’s Web: This doesn’t really have anything specifically to do with Easter but I think the way the classic children’s story portrays sacrifice and the circle of life still fits well with the holiday.
Babette’s Feast: This is another film that doesn’t have anything to do with Easter, but the story of a woman who comes to live with a pastor’s family is still a great portrayal of Christ-like service. I also think the feast itself has a little bit of an allegorical connection to the Last Supper.
Cotton Patch Gospel: I just had to include a musical in the bunch, and this is one not everyone has heard of. The stage production toured the country on and off for years. The musical is a more modern day retelling of the gospel story in rural Georgia where the messianic lead is lynched by the KKK, not crucified on a cross. The music is foot stompin’ fun and the show is energetic and a change of pace from playing “The Sound of Music” one more time.
Henry Poole is Here: This is the most recent movie of the bunch, and while I didn’t necessarily think it was worth racing to the cineplex to watch, I do think this story of a depressed man whose neighbors thinks there is vision of Jesus painted on the side of his house has a lot of spiritual moments about life and death and recognizing the miraculous that makes it Easter appropriate.