A new movie about Mary Magdalene - Mary of Magdala, from the village of that name on the Sea of Galilee, and the role she played during the adult life and death of Jesus of Nazareth later called The Christ (the anointed one), will be released in Australia on March 22, just in time for Easter 2018. Enter our Giveaway, Win a Double Pass.
Guided by acclaimed director Garth Davis, the second feature film from the Australian director of Lion, Mary Magdalene features Rooney Mara as Mary of Magdela, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus of Nazareth, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter the disciple who denied Jesus three times and Tahar Rahim as his betrayer in the garden at Gethsemene, Judas Iscariot.
Mary was a young woman in search of a vision and like all the women of her time, was constricted in what she would be able to achieve by the patriarchal hierarchies of her day. She defied her traditional family to join the movement led by the charismatic leader Jesus, who asked people to love their neighbour as they would love themselves.
All the evidence about Jesus in history reveals he was a human inspiration, an extraordinary man and that Mary Magdalene has been a much maligned and mostly misunderstood spiritual figure.
She has always seemed to me an intelligent woman, one who joined the social movement led by the charismatic Jesus and his followers, knowing she would be shunned by those envious of her consolidating a position in his life.
She must have decided she should not let this worry her, as long as she would be able to talk about her thoughts and point of view to someone who would listen, respect and value what it is she had to say. She believed she had found that man in Jesus.
Mary found a place for herself at the heart of a defining progress with Jesus and his disciples, one that would lead to Jerusalem, where on a hill it would all end in a vale of tears for his followers as he was nailed to a wooden cross and left to die by his Roman captors; later viewed as both a tragedy and a triumph.
Mary did not abandon Jesus at any stage in his hour of need or as they journeyed from Galilee to Jerusalem. Unlike the twelve male disciples in his life, along with his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene was one of those at Jesus’ side to comfort him, even unto death.
All four canonical Gospels confirm she witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.
She was present at the tomb as the person Jesus trusted most according to Mark 16:9–10 and John 20:14–17, with his appearing to her first following his resurrection, giving instructions to her to tell his disciples he had ascended to God.
She related her personal impressions of Jesus and his message about how peace and love was important for the future of the world, spreading the news to those willing to listen to what she had to say for the rest of her life.
Where that all ended is still open to speculation.
Mary Magdalene was a strong woman of the Roman world of the first century, whose legend down the years since has gathered around it a cult following, beginning with her mention first in the gospels written 35 – 65 years after Jesus’ death and still going today, especially among church circles.
Her voice has continued to echo, relating the tale to those who became ‘followers of the way’, believing Jesus fulfilled the promise of the early prophets – God ‘had become flesh and dwelt among us’.
Men of the cloth since the time of Emperor Constantine (272-337), who established ‘Christianity’ as the official religion of the Roman Empire, controlled the flow of information about Mary Magdalene and her life story. It has become an incomplete narrative of the time as so many of the facts have been lost or destroyed.
Many corrupted her story, seeking to damage her name and to keep women disempowered.
Instead, they should have been harnessing her simple story of love, faith and hope to reflect the values Jesus held close; the offer of forgiveness and redemption to all who repent of their crimes against human nature and to do unto others as you would have them do to you.
“I am the light of the world”… Jesus said, “… whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8.12).
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2018
Written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett
Director Garth Davis
Released in Australia March 22, 2018
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Watch the Trailer
• Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene,
• Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ,
• Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter,
• Tahar Rahim as Judas,
• Ryan Corr as Joseph,
• Uri Gavriel as Philip
• Charles Babalola as Andrew
• Tawfeek Barhom as James
• Zohar Shtrauss as John
• Michael Moshonov as Matthew