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Religious Traditions Filmography

This filmography complements the Media Center's display of films covering a range of issues relating to religion, belief and culture. These films and many more on similar topics are all available at the Media Center, LLC 5th floor.

Arab & Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land

Ben-Hur: a Tale of the Christ

     1 videocassette silent b&w 148 min

The Bible: In the Beginning

     2 videocassettes

Black Robe

     1 videocassette color 101 min
     United States, Vidmark Entertainment 1992
     Director: Bruce Beresford     

  In the 17th century, Father Laforgue, a young, idealistic Jesuit priest nicknamed Black Robe by his Algonquin Indian guides, is assigned to go up river into the Canadian wilderness on a perilous journey to convert the Huron Indians. His young aide and translator, Daniel, falls in love with Annuka, the daughter of the Algonquin chief. Torn between his own desires and ideals of the priesthood, Laforgue's faith is tested, and his life and the outcome of the mission imperiled, as the expedition faces the elements and hostile Indians.

Blacks & Jews

The Blood of Jesus
     1 videocassette (68 min.)
     Facets 1996
     Originally produced 1941

  Concerns the accidental shooting of a woman and of the faith in Jesus that brings her back. As she lies dying, her soul goes on a symbolic journey in which it rejects Hell for Zion, Satan for God, at the foot of the cross. When she awakens recovered, the choir of sisters and brothers from the church come in to sing and celebrate the miracle. Offers a glimpse into Southern Baptist life from an African-American perspective.

The Convent

     New York: Fox Lorber Home Video, c1997
     1 videocassette (90 min.) color
     Director: Manuel de Oliviera

  An American professor travels with his beautiful wife Helene to a Portuguese monastery to prove his theory that Shakespeare was actually of Spanish Jewish origin. The host at the convent is the sinister Baltar, who becomes infatuated with Helene. A classic battle of good versus evil ensues as the flirtation between the two develops leaving the viewer wondering which one of these characters is the Devil himself.

El Enigma de Quetzalcoatl

     Princeton, N.J.: Films for the Humanities, 1989 1 videocassette (56 min.) color
     Originally shown on television in Mexico in 1983
     Producer and director, Emilio Larroso

  A Mexican documentary about the prehistoric god, Quetzalcoatl (the feathered serpent) which traces the origin of this legend through different pre-hispanic cultures, including the Teotihuacanos, Aztecs and Mayans. Also explains the significance of Quetzalcoatl in these cultures and in the Spanish conquest of Mexico.


     Culver City, CA: MGM/UA Home Video, 1992.
     2 videocassettes (208 min.): Videocassette release of the 1960 motion picture
     Director: Otto Preminger


Chronicles the story of the postwar Jewish struggle for independence and their fight to establish a homeland in Israel, beginning with the exodus from a Cypriot detention camp of a shipload of courageous European Jews headed toward Israel aboard a weathered freighter.

From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians

     Distributed by PBS Video, c1998
     4 videocassettes (approx. 60 min. each)

  Explores the life of Jesus and the movement he started, challenging familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity. Drawing upon new and sometimes controversial historical evidence and interviews with the nation's leading New Testament scholars, the series transports the viewer back 2000 years to the time and place where Jesus once lived and preached. Traces Jesus' life, focusing on the events that occurred after he died and on his first followers, the men and women whose belief, conviction, and martyrdom created a major movement that transformed the Roman Empire in the space of only 300 years.

Healers of Ghana

     Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1996, c1993.
     1 videocassette (58 min.)

  Explores the traditional medical practices of the Bono people of central Ghana and how their healers are accommodating the conflict between the arrival of Western medicine and their religious beliefs. Traditionally, Bono tribal priests undergo a painful spiritual possession, during which deities reveal to them the causes of illnesses, which plants to use to treat them, who is perpetrating witchcraft, and which villagers might be endangering society through improper behavior.

Islam: Empire of Faith

     Distributed by PBS Home Video, 2000
     2 videocassettes (ca. 180 min.)

  Documents the rise and growth of Islam throughout the world, from the birth of Prophet Muhammad in the 6th century through the peak of the Ottoman Empire 1000 years later. Discusses the impact of Islamic civilization on world history and culture.

Jesus Christ Superstar

     [Universal City, CA]: MCA Home Video, c1986
     1 videocassette (1 hr., 48 min.)

  Videocassette release of the 1973 motion picture Depicts in song, images, and music, the story of the last week of Christ's life, his betrayal and crucifixion as seen from the point of view of Judas.

Last Supper/ La Ultima Cena

     New York: New Yorker Films Video, [199-?]
     1 videocassette (110 min.) color
     Originally produced as motion picture by El Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos in 1976

  Set in Havana at the end of the 18th century, a guilt-ridden count invites twelve of his plantation slaves to a "last supper" during which he attempts to teach them what he sees as the crucial elements of Christianity, namely, submissive obedience to their master and joy in suffering. When the count breaks his word, however, and forces the slaves to work the next day (Good Friday), they revolt and the count's punishment is swift and brutal.

Last Temptation of Christ

     Directed by Martin Scorsese

Living Islam

     New York: Ambrose Video Pub., c1993
     6 videocassettes (300 min.) color

Long Search

     New York: Distributed by Time-Life Films, c1977.
     13 videocassettes (52 min. ea.)

  Tells about various religions of the world by showing actual practicing congregations in worship services.


     Maryknoll, N.Y.: Maryknoll World Video, [c1992]
     1 videocassette (29 min.)

  Fr. Bill Grimm hosts this program, filmed in Cairo, Egypt, introduces a mosque and Muslims and shows that believers in Islam are not the fanatics that the media reports frequently portray.

Mysteries of the Bible

     New York, NY: A&E Home Video, c1994
     6 videocassettes (300 min.)

  Richard Kiley and Jean Simmons narrate this exploration of the facts behind the Bible stories. Included are discussions with scholars, archaeologists, and scientists and visits to historic sites.

Rebuilding the Temple: Cambodians in America

Sorcerers of Zaire

     Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1996, c1993
     1 videocassette (51 min.) color


Explores the life of the rural Chokwe tribe of southwestern Zaire, where hardship and starvation are a way of life. To assure that their modest food supply is distributed fairly, the Chokwe use a complex system of reprisals in which sorcerers are hired to resurrect ancestral ghosts to haunt those who hoard goods, causing them sickness and death. Focuses on four patients and two healers, following them through their traditional medical treatments. Also shows the rigorous initiation ritual in which masked dancers help prepare boys for manhood.

Three paths: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism

Tibetan Medicine: A Buddhist approach to healing



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