The mystery of the incarnation of God reappears, no less enigmatic, in the death of Jesus Christ, which, in turn, guides the path of Christian behaviour. Easter is a celebration of the end of a human life and the beginning of another, spiritual life, in which time doesn’t pass. But the jump from transitoriness (incomprehension, finiteness, suffering) to eternity (peace, incorruption and love) is neither easy nor pleasant. It requires a horrific ordeal, a humiliation that all the lives of Christ recount. The most paradoxical passage, which is the basis of the spiritual movement known as faith, is the Passion: when God comes to terms with human suffering, or perhaps inhuman (no man had ever experienced it before, as no one, like him, could have prevented it). This position squarely in the centre of injustice, in a fully dependent relationship through suffering (passion is derived from pathos, suffering that is freely chosen) will act, as formulated in the Gospel, as consolation for believers. It will make the suffering and anguish caused by incomprehension, persecution, in short, any sort of misery, more tolerable… as the apostle Paul tells in his Epistle to the Corinthians.
Film, from the beginning a way to portray the unportrayable and bring to life what can only be conceived of through magic or dreams (the work of Georges Méliès springs to mind, for example), not only doesn’t avoid the topic of God but, in fact, has presented biblical stories in a wide array of variations, since the early 20th century. Even today, with a recent film focusing on the complex/unwholesome relationship with Mary Magdalene, the life of Jesus Christ continues to attract interest. And not always among the most pious or practising, as surprising as it may seem. The selection of films here reflects not artistic but purely subjective (and religious, of course) criteria. Nor do we aim to provide a comparison of the different perspectives from which the Christian message is captured.