JOSHUA THE MOVIE
What if Jesus returned to a small community in America? What would happen? Here is a portrayal of Jesus in a bar, at a rock concert, jamming in a garage, and even attending a healing service! He lives in a barn and tears down churches in his spare time. Ya gotta see this film.
Review by David Bruce


JOSHUA, THE MOVIE
(2001)


This page was created on May 24, 2002
This page was last updated on November 12, 2005

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CREDITS

Click to enlargeDirected by Jon Purdy
Novel by Joseph F. Girzone
Screenplay by Brad Mirman and Keith Giglio

Tony Goldwyn .... Joshua
F. Murray Abraham .... Father Tardone
Kurt Fuller .... Father Pat Hayes
Stacy Edwards .... Maggie
Jordan Allen .... Michael Reed
Tom Brainard .... Young Pastor
Colleen Camp .... Joan Casey
Alec De Rosa .... Evangelist Kid
Giancarlo Giannini .... The Pope
Kevin Scott Greer .... Parishioner

Produced by
Howard Baldwin .... producer
Karen Elise Baldwin .... producer
Paul Pompian .... producer

Original music by David R. Barkley (additional score) and Michael W. Smith
Cinematography by Bruce Surtees

Rated G
FOR RATING REASONS, GO TO FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
PARENTS PLEASE REFER TO PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

TRAILERS AND CLIPS
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CD SOUNDTRACK

1. Braver Newer World - Pete Orta
2. I'm All Yours - Rachael Lampa
3. Excavate - Wes King
4. God So Loved The World - Jaci Velasquez
5. My Hope Is You - Third Day
6. I Love You - Cindy Morgan
7. Wings Of A Dove - Point Of Grace
8. Faith, Hope And Love - Mark Schultz/Nicole C. Mullen
9. Larger Than Life - Downhere
10. It's Matter Of Love - Anointed
11. Love Is Moving - Michael W. Smith
12. Innocence - Jaci Velasquez

BOOK
The Beloved Classic, Now a Major Motion Picture

When Joshua moves to a small cabin on the edge of town, the local people are mystified by his presence. A quiet and simple man, Joshua appears to seek nothing for himself. He supports himself by working as a carpenter. He charges very little for his services, yet his craftsmanship is exquisite. The statue of Moses that he carves for the local synagogue prompts amazement as well as consternation.

What are the townsfolk to make of this enigmatic stranger? Some people report having seen him carry a huge cherry log on his shoulders effortlessly. Still others talk about the child in a poor part of town who was dreadfully ill but, after Joshua's visit, recovered completely.

Despite his benevolence and selfless work in the community, some remain suspicious. Finally, in an effort to address the community's doubts, the local religious leaders confront Joshua.

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SYNOPSIS
Hope has a name...

Click to enlarge“We all knew he was different. And we all knew he was somehow special. But none of us knew how much trouble we were in. And how much we would end up needing him...”

A man arrives in a small town. At first, no one knows his name; no one knows where he came from. He's strong. He's smart. He's "easy on the eyes." The locals want to call him a stranger, but when they meet him, he makes them feel quite the opposite - like they've known him their whole lives.

Click to enlargeTheo, a lovable giant of a man, is the first to shake his hand, the first to learn his name: "Joshua." It's one seemingly simple sound that soon makes its way around town, into the hearts and minds of young and old. Joshua's name falls on the ears of Maggie, the pretty local girl-turned-news anchorwoman. It reaches Kevin, a troubled teen searching for his place in the world. Joshua's name reassures Joan, a housewife trying to put passion back into her marriage, and it reaches into the soul of a revival tent preacher to pull out a lifetime of shame.

Click to enlargeJoshua is seemingly everywhere at once, making the kind of impression that few have ever felt. But it is exactly this influence that creates a division between the stubbornly orthodox Father Tardone and the well-meaning but less-than-confident Father Pat, two priests who believe very strongly in the same thing, but in very different ways.

"Sometimes you gotta' tear something down to build it back up again."

Click to enlargeAs a carpenter, that's one of Joshua's favorite sayings. So when the charismatic stranger sets his sights on re-building the burnt down Baptist church, it comes as little surprise that many in the town, regardless of their faith, lend a hand. But what really gets built back up are each of their lives, their hearts, their trust in themselves and each other. Joshua has shown them how to believe. Especially Father Pat. And that draws the scrutiny of Father Tardone, who is not pleased with Joshua and his hold over the community.

"Deep in the hearts of so many people, there's an emptiness that nothing in this world can fill," Joshua admits, and this is especially true for the seasoned pastor. Why does he shun what others embrace?Click to enlarge

When the reluctant priest finally recognizes the way, finally says the word through a whisper and a tear, it comes with the force of a revelation. "Joshua." It is an exclamation of faith, a declaration of love and the realization that hope indeed does have a name.

That name is "Joshua."

REVIEW by
DAVID BRUCE

JESUS AND THE CHURCH IN SHAMBLES
What this film does is ask the question "What would Jesus do?" And it answers that question by placing a Jesus figure in modern time. Joshua is the name given to this modern day Jesus.

As you might know, Jesus is Joshua in Hebrew.

And so, what does Jesus do in this film?

Well, some very interesting things....

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge1. JESUS LIVES IN A BARN
The story makes some remarkable statements about Jesus/Joshua. Jesus is pictured as living in a barn devoid of any commercial and consumer trappings. Jesus lives in a simple way. He spends no money whatever on anything beyond what is necessary to live. The barn is symbolic of the stable in the biblical story of Jesus, and it also underscores his carpenter's trade. All activity within the barn is centered on helping others through his craft.
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Click to enlarge2. JESUS TEARS DOWN THE CHURCH TO REBUILD IT
A most interesting aspect of the story is Jesus' intention to rebuild the church. The Protestant church is in shambles and needs to be torn down and rebuilt. And that is exactly what Jesus does. At the Roman Catholic Church, Jesus addresses internal problems of ritualism and over substance and strong judgmental attitudes. In a very loving way Jesus works with both churches to bring transformation and reform.
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Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge3. JESUS ROCKS OUT
Jesus embraces contemporary music. Jesus picks up a guitar in a garage and rocks out. Jesus has no fear of expressing himself through non-traditional church music. This scene is so subtle that many will miss its significance. Jesus is pictured as fully entering postmodern culture without so much as an eye blink.
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Click to enlargeClick to enlarge4. JESUS IN A BAR PLAYING POOL AND AT A ROCK CONCERT
Speaking of subtle, Jesus is pictured playing pool in a bar! Moreover, he does so in a very natural and understated manner! This fits with the biblical stories of Jesus' enemies accusing him of hanging with "wine-bibbers" and sinners. Again, this film presents Jesus as fitting into everyday life very comfortably. He is also right at home attending a rock concert!
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Click to enlarge5. JESUS AT A HEALING SERVICE
How would Jesus react to a healing service? What is Jesus' method of healing and how is it different? This film also explores that question. What is interesting here is how uncomfortable Jesus is in this setting as opposed to the rock concert. I believe this film is making some very powerful statements about Jesus and about how we perceive him.
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Click to enlarge6. JESUS MENDS BROKEN HEARTS
There is much symbolism in this film. In one scene Jesus gives a woman a new heart -actually a hand carved wooden heart. Later when the woman's husband breaks it, Jesus mends the wooden heart. Highly symbolic. Clever.

What this film does is place Jesus back into real life. Jesus is not portrayed as some religious extremist, or as an unapproachable mystic. Rather Jesus is portrayed exactly as he would be if he walked the streets today, by replacing the Palestinian culture of the Biblical context with our contemporary North-American culture. Here is a great film for group discussions.

What would Jesus do?

How would Jesus be?

Who would Jesus hang with?

What would be important to Jesus?

What would not be important to Jesus?


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Joshua, the Movie © 2001 and 2002 Epiphany Films. All Rights Reserved.

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