Tuesday 30 March 2021

The Chosen - a life of Jesus (2019-20)

Just a notice of The Chosen - a series of (so far - more to come) eight 50-minute (independently/ crowd-funded) TV-movies about the ministry of Jesus (structured around the last three years of his life) from the perspective of those around him. 

This is an outstanding achievement, which I recommend highly.  

The series builds slowly; by establishing the society and (essentially fictional) characters of people such as Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Simon and Andrew, and Matthew - and Jesus is introduced slowly (he hardly appears in the first couple of episodes). 

There is a (successful) attempt to portray the fine texture of daily life. The interesting decision was made that everyone speaks with a 'Middle Eastern accent', and to use a few untranslated Hebrew words - which results in an enhancement of the strangeness and differentness of the world. 

Production values are very high; and the quality of acting very good - indeed Nicodemus and Matthew, in particular, are superb performances. 

As the series progresses, it becomes much more scriptural in content, with episodes built around particular events (usually, specific miracles or encounters), and gets better and better - deepened by the developing interpersonal relationships and crises caused by Jesus's emergence. 

I found it extremely moving at times - spiritually moving; there were parts when I was streaming with tears! 

Anyway - The Chosen can be found free on YouTube and Vimeo


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I have also found this series excellent and profoundly moving, though I think I would disagree with the characterization of it as "a life of Jesus." The story is really about his disciples -- using that word broadly to include more than just the Twelve -- and I think the title reflects that. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you" (John 15:16). I like the animation that accompanies the theme music at the beginning of each episode: one fish after another -- but never anything approaching a majority -- making the choice to turn around and swim in the other direction. It's about repentance. Jesus is obviously central to it all because he's Jesus, but (so far anyway) the main characters are Simon, Mary, Nicodemus, and Matthew.

Charlie said...

Great tip! This looks amazing.

(quick question: Would you say it's okay for kids? Any age limits)

Bruce Charlton said...

@C - No age limits, but it would not be of much interest to young kids because of its pace and complexity.

Francis Berger said...

That's it! I can't take any more positive commentary surrounding this series. I was going to wait until Good Friday to embark on the journey, but I'm scrapping that plan and will begin watching it tomorrow!

Amy said...

I am a huge fan of the show and this is a great review! I have watched season 1 several times and catch something new every time.
Children will enjoy episode 3– Jesus Loves Little Children. It stands alone pretty well and the kids in the episode relate easily with Jesus. Kids also love the scene with the miracle of the Fish when Simon Peter is called to follow Him....
Season 2 Episode 1 premiers today for the first time. If you download the app called “The Chosen,” you can cast it to your TV for free. :)