The Best Religious Films and TV Shows on Virgin this Easter
At this time of year, we’re reminded of the influence of religion on pop culture. Regardless of how you practice religion (from lifelong dedication to giving up Kit Kats for Lent), it’s hard to deny the power of some of these stories. It’s not for nothing that The Bible is still one of the bestselling books of all time.
So here’s a list of some of the more compelling religious films and TV shows that you can check out right now.
One disclaimer: To be included on this list, the films and TV shows have to be about real religions. So the demons of Ash vs the Evil Dead don’t count and, even though the show talks about religion all the time (no kidding!), neither does Battlestar Galactica.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail/The Life of Brian
Not the most reverent of religious films, but definitely the funniest, these two works represent Monty Python at the height of their silly powers.
The Holy Grail was filmed at Doune Castle (pictured) and deals with King Arthur and his knights’ quest to find the sacred chalice. On their quest, they encounter annoying knights, vicious rabbits and (we think) one of the best film endings of all time.
The Life of Brian is a much more pointed satire, and every bit as funny. It follows poor Brian, who’s mistaken for the Messiah. You might recognise familiar Bible stories in this comedy spoof, from The Sermon on the Mount to the story of Easter itself. Not to oversell it or anything, but this film is a comedy masterpiece.
Of Kings and Prophets
And now for something completely different: Of Kings and Prophets is the bombastic, epic and hugely entertaining series based on the Book of Samuel. Ray Winstone, in one of the best roles of his career, plays Saul, the King of Israel. Handsome newcomer Olly Rix plays David, his nemesis.
This is an exciting, big budget and impressive series – essentially The Old Testament meets Game of Thrones.
The Passion of the Christ
When this film was first released, audiences weren’t quite sure what to make of it: Directed by Mel Gibson, it’s a violent account of the final hours of Jesus. But filmgoers (especially Christians) embraced it as a cinematic, distinctive and sincere film. Jim Caviezel stars in the lead role, with Monica Bellucci appearing as Mary Magdalene.
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Ridley Scott’s ambitious tale of Moses is not perfect, but it’s a stunning looking film, with a huge scale and budget and a typically commanding Christian Bale in the lead.
The story of the slave revolt in Ancient Egypt, and then odyssey through the desert is an engaging and legendary one, and Scott uses remarkable digital effects to portray the grand events, from plagues to the parting of the sea.
The Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Of Kings and Prophets are available On Demand. The Passion of the Christ and Exodus: Gods and Kings are available on Netflix.
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