This film is an excellent telling of Jeremiah's life, and although time has been compressed, and some fictitious characters added to fill out the scenario, the heart of this part of biblical history is intact, and follows the accounts given in The Book of Jeremiah, II Kings 23-25, and II Chronicles 34-36.
Some of the additions: The lovely "Judith" (Lenor Varela) as an early love interest, and "General Safan", played by that lionesque man, Oliver Reed, as one of Jeremiah's adversaries, and someone who consistently gives bad advice to the king.
Among the omissions: Jeremiah's good years, when he was a friend and confidant to the devout King Josiah, which ended in 609 B.C. with the Josiah's death.
Jeremiah was older when most of the events that take place in this film occur, and had been ministering since 627 B.C.
The film starts with the finding the scriptures, which King Josiah reads to the people, and a young Jeremiah, "I cannot speak, for I am only a youth" (Jer. 1:6).
Sixteen years elapse, and in some of the following scenes, Jehoiakim (Josiah's son) is king, and the constant and brutal persecution of Jeremiah begins.
Patrick Dempsey is wonderful as Jeremiah, and also Stuart Bunce as his faithful scribe Baruch (it is Baruch who in all probability recorded The Book of Jeremiah).
Enter Nebuchadnezzar, played with gusto by Klaus Maria Brandauer. This is one nasty guy, but he is the instrument to complete Jeremiah's prophesies, with his armies sacking and burning the temple (in 586 B.C.) and the ensuing famine in the land. Nebuchadnezzar takes Jehoiakim's son and succesor Jehoiachin captive, and and places his uncle Zedekiah (formerly known as Mattaniah) as king.
The final 10 minutes of this film are riveting, with King Zedekiah's fate brilliantly depicted (literaly taken from II Kings 25:7), and Jeremiah's story, though a sad one, is one of faith and perseverance, and well worth watching.
Most of the films in this series are terrific, and have beautiful cinematography by Raffaele Mertes; they are set in Quarzazate, Morocco, with its rugged landscape and ancient structures. A good score by Bruce Broughton adds to the atmosphere, and it's well directed and written (with a fair portion taken from the scriptures) by Harry Winer.