Carl Theodor Dreyer, Leaves from Satan’s Book (1920)
This is a 3-hour feature film about the life of Jesus from the public ministry of his preaching, teaching, and healing to the crucifixion. Based on the Gospels and a variety of other sources, the film will present what Jesus said and did within the context of Jewish life and devotion.
The film will be produced and directed by Hisham Bizri, adapting it from a screenplay by Carl Theodor Dreyer. It will be shot in color in the Middle East, including in biblical locations, and the dialogue will be in English.
A young man has just turned thirty and is unhappy with how things are in his occupied homeland. Although he was born to humble parents, he begins to travel between towns teaching parables of love, humility, and compassion and healing the sick. His reputation spreads across the nation and large numbers of people begin to follow him.
Meanwhile, revolutionaries fighting for independence believe the young man named Jesus to be the one to lead the nation back to sovereignty and freedom. Refusing to join them in violence, he continues his mission together with 12 loving disciples. Community leaders however fear that his popularity may incite a general upheaval and lead the occupiers to crush and exile him and his people.
After three years of the young man’s journey, he is arrested by the occupiers, brutally tortured, and murdered. Although on all sides most had not wanted this outcome, the dire circumstances created deep fear, leading to a blinding need to assign blame on him.