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Bible: Genesis [Import]

Annabi Abdelialil , Omero Antonutti , Ermanno Olmi    Unrated   VHS Tape
2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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This film based on the Bible's book of Genesis is something akin to a dramatic reading with visuals. The text of Genesis is read by a narrator, who at times appears as an elderly desert nomad telling the story to a small boy and other members of their extended Bedouin family. These presentations make historical sense, of course, as the biblical tales were passed along as oral history for generations. During the story of the creation of the heaven and the earth, the visuals tend toward nature photography alternated with scenes of the venerable storyteller, but during later episodes, actors play some of the characters from the Bible. A story of Adam and Eve is dramatized in a film montage, as are the stories of Cain and Abel. More inventive cinematography, utilizing modern clips of warfare and destruction, are used to illustrate some Old Testament pronouncements about the evils practiced by mankind. Noah's instruction to build the ark is portrayed, and in an elaborate segment, the building of the ark and its use during the great flood is shown. This film may not provide any new insights into the stories of Genesis, but the dramatizations coupled with the readings from the text are often beautifully filmed, and those interested in experiencing the visual atmosphere of the biblical stories will enjoy the presentation. --Robert J. McNamara

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars serene and satisfying Dec 8 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This Ermanini Olmo film is filled with magical moments, taken at a leisurely pace; if your usual viewing fare is action packed and music video speed, you might want to pass this one by.
The visual beauty of the panoramic Moroccan landscapes and its handsome people are wonderful to watch, but the main attraction here is the narration by the great Paul Scofield ("A Man for all Seasons") in a poetic reading of this section of the Bible.
The script fairly accurately follows the first nine chapters of Genesis, with a few added portions, like excerpts from the Song of Solomon, Leviticus Ch. 26, and Psalm 50.
Omero Antonutti plays "the grandfather" and "Noah", and the rest of the cast are simply listed as "people of Morocco". The children are exquisite, and the costuming gives the feeling of ancient nomadic times.
The score by Ennio Morricone includes tribal folk music and predominantly, the strange and glorious sound of "Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares".
I find this film extraordinarily soothing, and the words are like music and calming to the mind and soul; I like to put this film on while I am working, or when I just want to turn the frantic tempo of today's world down a notch.
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Format:VHS Tape
Very personal presentation of the biblical account of the creation and the flood by Ermanno Olmi, the acclaimed director of "The Tree of Wooden Clogs." Boring only for those who have no poetic sense whatever! The above average artistic refinement (from the visuals -stunning not to say more- to the very choice of the music) and spiritual depths of the movie will disconcert some. But the movie is a masterpiece. Slow? Yes. Meditative? Yes. Is it a sin? No. It's a hommage. And what a hommage! The spectator is called to make the biblical account his own. Comparing that movie with other biblical stories on characters such as Solomon, Esther or Jeremiah misses the point. Any movie director that would treat the first chapters of Genesis like just another story (although extraordinary) would fail to do justive to its true nature.
The Book of Genesis is a spiritual monument -not a historical book, like the Book of Samuel or the Book of Kings. It doesn't mean nothing of it happened. It did happen. Creation is part of history. But the biblical author here does not provide us so much with a word for word description of how things happened than help us understand God's loving providence at work in His creation. Not only does John Huston's litteral treatment of Eve handing the apple over to Adam (in "The Bible," his 1996 version of the Book of Genesis) add nothing to the text. It is purely anecdotic. It has nothing to do with us. The existential (and spiritual) tragedy of sin is totally eclipsed. No action movie will ever capture what goes on deep within man's heart (and soul) each time man turns his back on the one who made him.
In other words, the purpose of the biblical creation account is not scientific (HOW the world was made) but theological (WHY the world was made.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had read these reviews first... Nov. 21 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This was one of those RARE instances when I bought a movie from a bookstore instead of from Amazon.com. I didn't have the benefit of any of Amazon.com's reviews, which certainly would have saved me the (...) (plus tax!) that I paid at my neighborhood Christian bookstore. Having seen (and LOVED!) the Esther video in this series, I made my next purchase the Genesis video (something told me to buy Jeremiah instead -- must have been the Lord trying to keep me from wasting my money). THIS WAS BY FAR THE MOST BORING ADAPTATION OF SCRIPTURE THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. After nearly an hour of watching desert scenery (beautiful scenes, but not worth (...)) and listening to an old man recite scripture amid children crying and livestock bleating, I cut the VCR off. Perhaps the movie gets better after that first hour. But I doubt it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Genesis - a nomad's tale Feb. 17 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I completely agree with McNamara's review. This is more a narrative with pictures than a dramatic film. For dramatization, try 'The Bible ... in the beginning' by J. Huston or 'Noah', from the BBC's 'Bible in animation' series. It is incongruous to depict the Creation and paradise in an almost desert environment. The film 'drags' slowly through the stories we know so well from the Book of Genisis. There are some redeeming features however. Some of the filming is very artistic, with some stunning visuals. I believe that E. Morricone composed the score for the film. You will be treated to wonderful back-ground music, with a middle-east flavour.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I kept my receipt! Dec 30 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I hope the actors had a better time making this movie than I did watching it. In my opinion, I think this video would have made an excellent audio. And as an audio, I would have given it a four star rating for its narrative value. When I first bought the video, I thought it was a "Bible Collection" production; that's why I bought it. They're pretty authentic and on track with Scripture. How does one distort the <gopher> for a tahiti raft!? I intend to return the video for a full refund after the New Year.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Nov. 26 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I, too wish I had read the reviews before purchasing this movie, and I bought it from Amazon! I didn't even watch the entire movie. I got through the first 30-40 minutes and could see that it wasn't going to get any better. Most movies I watch, I like something about them and the majority of them would get two stars or better. This is one of those rare instances in which, if it were possible, it wouldn't get any stars. Don't waste your money.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The Creation and Noah`s Ark
Hi I`ve just saw this production of Genesis . I am sorry but I
think that Lux Vide could have done a better production of the
creation and the flood . Read more
Published on March 16 2003 by Matthew Paul Tanti Binett
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow
This film is not bad in regard to biblical accuracy, but there are three problems. (1) It is primarily an old man telling the stories, rather than dramatization of the events. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2001 by Steve Ink
3.0 out of 5 stars Like a bubbling relaxing brook
This film was a quiet peaceful paraphrase of the Creation to Flood story. It reminded me of those water/rock fountains that are soothing/relaxing. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Have Mercy
This was horrible! What was up with the little girl singing/screaming all the way through??? I had to force myself to stay awake...stay away from this version of Genesis!
Published on June 26 2001 by Wretched Man
1.0 out of 5 stars sooo bad!
It was like those dubbed old chineese films, the guys lip movement was not in sync with his voice... Read more
Published on June 26 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING BORING BORING!!!
This film is the dullest one I've seen in many a moon. This old goat simply recites early Biblical stories, while an atonal pipe plays in the background, babies cry, and sheep... Read more
Published on April 28 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars True but boring
Poorly produced and acted. Scriptually correct, but poorly done. I got more excited reading genesis in my bible than watching this.
Published on April 28 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTED
I THINK THIS WAS BORING. NOT MUCH ACTION AND TALKING. IT'S MORE LIKE A DOCUMENTRY. I AGREE IT IS SCRIPTUAL BUT IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE THE TYPE OF MOVIE THAT PORTRAYS THE ACTION... Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2001
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