Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Celluloid Jesus Out of Africa?

The films themselves often involve zany plots designed to teach a lesson, with many including black magic and dire consequences for evildoers.

Nollywood's stories are "very black and white" compared with Hollywood, Ms. Silva says - and that explains their appeal across Africa, where religion-based moralistic strains are popular. A "Hallelujah" sub-genre even involves timely interventions by Jesus Christ in daily affairs.

Africans, camera, action: 'Nollywood' catches world's eye via MercatorNet

Were the opportunity to present itself, I would be incredibly interested to see a well-done "Hallelujah" flick. I suspect that I myself would have a rather secularized tendency to scoff at such appearances. Then again, perhaps a semi-iconoclastic fear of depicting Christ in an unbecoming manner would trigger unease, like seeing Jesus painted into an executives' power-lunch or a dormitory bull-session.

Even the Christian morality plays of the late middle ages, to my knowledge, balked at turning Christ into another character in a performance. Perhaps "the next Christendom" can achieve what its predecessors couldn't.

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