Jesus Film hits cinemas again 35 years after its original release
The most watched film in history celebrates its 35th anniversary
1979 saw the release of what would become the most watched film in history.
Jesus, otherwise known as 'The Jesus film', has been viewed six million times by people all over the globe, and has now been re-mastered in HD and is set to be re-released in select theatres around the US this year.
The motion picture, now celebrating its 35th anniversary, depicts the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ faithfully in line with the Gospel of Luke.
Jesus is portrayed in the film by British Shakespearean actor Brian Deacon and almost every word he speaks throughout the entire film is taken directly from Scripture.
Around 450 biblical scholars reviewed the script for accuracy, while filming took place in Israel and first-century methods were used to produce clothing and props in order to ensure complete historical veracity wherever possible.
The re-release of the Jesus film, both in selected cinemas and on Blu-ray, will feature a new musical score and is set to join a number of biblically-based movies rumoured to be in the pipeline this season. Many are thus referring to 2014 as Hollywood's 'Year of the Bible'.
'Noah', which retells the Genesis account of the Great Flood and stars Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, is due for release in March, while Will Smith is rumoured to be making his directorial debut with feature film 'Cain and Abel'. Brad Pitt is lined up to star as Pontius Pilate in a movie about the Roman prefect who oversaw the death of Jesus, and Batman's Christian Bale is to play Moses in 'Exodus', which will be released before the end of the year.
It seems Hollywood is capitalising on the Bible's reputation as the greatest story ever told.
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"When the original Jesus film was released 35 years ago, it was ahead of its time," says Dr Erick Schenkel, Executive Director of The Jesus Film Project.
"Yet, while the film has introduced billions of individuals around the world to the person of Jesus, few in the US have ever seen it. We believe this new re-mastered version will give audiences an accurate picture of who Jesus is and why individuals around the world have chosen to follow Him."
The movie is officially the most translated film in history, and is now available in almost 1,200 languages. In addition, its depiction of the life of Christ has proved to be an effective evangelism tool. More than 200 million individuals worldwide have indicated a decision to become Christians following a viewing.
Producers are now hoping that it will have the same effect over three decades after its original release.
"Unlike other religious films, which contain graphic violence or do not adhere to Scripture, 'The JESUS Film' script is taken directly from the Bible and shown in a cinematic style suitable for all ages," Schenkel notes.
"The new greatly enhanced video and sound quality elevates the emotional viewing experience of this 35-year-old film to a new level, making it fresh and appealing to a generation that may not be aware of who Jesus is."
For more information about showings, visit www.JESUSfilmHD.com