Films cast Easter in differing lights


As we near the final commercial holiday until July and head into yet another academic break, we are posed with a question—how will we spend our break? I have provided the top five films for your Easter viewing pleasure.

First on the list is a classic musical in its original form. “Jesus Christ Superstar” is a 1973 film rendition of the Broadway musical of the same name. The musical follows the final few chapters of Jesus’ story, the last few weeks of his life where he is betrayed, crucified and rises again. However, the musical is based in the ‘70s with Jesus and the Apostles represented as hippies wandering through the desert. This retelling of the end of the life of the Christian Messiah through song and dance is one of the most fun and creative ways to get your religious fill this Easter.

This next film comes to us from the world of Peanuts. In “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown,” Linus presents yet another unheard-of holiday icon for Easter, the Easter Beagle. When the holiday isn’t going their way, Linus tells the gang that everything will get better when the Easter Beagle arrives on Easter morning, but his friends have a hard time believing his tale. When Easter morning arrives, though, Charlie Brown and the others are surprised to find that the Easter Beagle, played by Snoopy, is real and has come with Easter eggs for all of them.

If you are looking for something a bit more romantic and whimsical, try “Easter Parade.” In this 1948 film, Fred Astaire plays a nightclub dancer who loses his partner when she breaks apart their duo to pursue a solo career. In need of a new dance partner, he hires a naive chorus girl, played by Judy Garland, to fill the open spot. In turn, the performer hopes to make his old partner jealous and prove that he can make anyone a star. The film’s soundtrack features great music by Irving Berlin.

For those of you looking for a more serious and somewhat controversial film, then you may want to see “The Passion of Christ.” Directed by Mel Gibson, this film follows the final 12 hours of Jesus’s life. The film is seen as controversial for its use of strong language and graphic violence. The entire film is scripted in the ancient languages Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew. The film shows the events of Jesus’s arrest, trial, torture, crucifixion and resurrection in graphic detail.

Finally, for the docudrama buffs, check out “Son of God.” The 2014 film is a direct adaption of the 2013 10-hour miniseries “The Bible.” The pure politics of what takes place throughout the Bible and the epic life of Jesus and his many miracles is enough to draw anyone in. This film contains a historical aspect as well as a religious aspect.