The story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has always been told through the perspective of believers. However, in the epic new movie "Risen," which stars Joseph Fiennes and Tom Felton, the story of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection is told through the eyes of a disbelieving Roman soldier.
"It's a story we know and love but from a completely different angle," Rich Peluso, senior vice president of AFFIRM Films, told The Gospel Herald. "We all know the story of Jesus meeting up with Cleopas on the road, but a few miles away in Jerusalem Caiaphas, the High Priest, and Pilate had to be wondering where the body went and tried to squash what they viewed as an uprising. 'Risen' takes you through that journey on the other side of the story while still glimpsing the Gospel story."
Even though the story of Christ's sufferings and resurrection has been told countless times already, Peluso believes that Christians never tire of absorbing the inspiring story. At the same time, he said "Risen" delivers something new to the table as it "holds endless blessings and encouragement."
"It's a unique experience to see the story that we know and love through the eyes of a non-believer that's on his own journey," Peluso said. "For the unchurched, it is probably the most accessible story of the life of Christ on film. You can come into the story and experience it without feeling like someone is trying to preach at you, because the lead character is so sceptical about what's going on. It really is a manhunt to disprove the rumour of this risen man; you get pulled into this manhunt thriller."
Given the success of faith-based movies such as "War Room" and "Woodlawn" last year, Peluso is optimistic that more Christian-themed stories will be created this year.
"I believe that Christians want to see great movies like everyone else. They don't want to see a Christian movie because they feel like they have to support it if it's not very good. That's why you see mixed results with films that hit the market," he said.
"Risen" is scheduled for release on Feb. 19.