Kudos to the people at The Jesus Film Project for their latest release, Magdalena: Released from Shame. I have not yet seen the film, but according to a Christianity Today reviewer, Magdalena “combines footage from the original Jesus film with new material emphasizing Christ’s compassion for women.” Apparently the purpose of the new film is to deliver the essential message of the original film specifically to women, as well as to non-Western cultures in which “honor and shame are more powerful paradigms than guilt and innocence.”
The Jesus Film Project website describes the film this way:
One woman caught in the scandalous act of adultery; another, rejected and ignored because of her promiscuous lifestyle; another, shunned for 12 years because of a shameful condition; a widow, cast out from society, mourning the loss of her only son. An ugly thread of shame, sorrow and hopelessness painfully weaves its way through the lives of each of these women.
After following Jesus for three years, Mary Magdalene observed all these things and more. She also witnessed changed lives, miracles, and the results of restored hope. Watching with amazement, Mary learned from Jesus a new way to look at people. He also radically transformed her life by healing her from demon possession—releasing her from shame.
The film’s action is narrated by the Mary Magdalene character, played by Rebecca Ritz (of Minority Report), presenting Jesus’ life through the eyes of one of his female disciples. According to Christianity Today, “After a recent showing in Israel, one viewer emotionally expressed her appreciation for the way Jesus ‘dealt with women in respect’ and ‘released them from fear.’ In every culture, in every language, that’s a story women need to hear.” Amen!
Sneak previews are available on the film’s gorgeous interactive website, www.magdalenamovie.com, and DVDs can be purchased at The Jesus Film Store.