Film & Study review – Wondering what your Home group might do next?

Sylvia’s home group watched the film Risen and have written this great review. Get in touch if you’d like to borrow the film and leaders guide – [email protected]


My home group recently watched the film Risen.  It is the story of a Roman soldier investigating the mysterious disappearance of the body of Jesus.  We decided to enter into the atmosphere of the times and provided Roman-type refreshments (there were suggestions in the Leader’s Guide) and they included figs, grapes, cheeses, bread,  raisins, olives, nuts and almond biscuits.  Plus, of course, some Italian wine!  (We opted out of the stuffed dormice and the peacock tongues!)  We graced the table with a vase of roses as one of our members did some research and found that they would have been around at that time.

The film itself was amazing – we all thoroughly enjoyed it.  We weren’t sure what to expect when we started watching it but were soon transported into the world of ancient Jerusalem.  We thought that the filmmakers did a good job of capturing the scenery accurately – two of our members have been there and confirmed this.

The story follows Clavius, a Roman military tribune, who is charged, by Pilate, with discovering what happened to the body of Jesus following the crucifixion.  The Romans were anxious to prevent an uprising in Jerusalem by disproving the rumours of a risen Messiah.  It is told as a detective story and is a fresh approach in that it is seen through the eyes of a non-believer.  We see how Clavius is affected as he carries out his investigations and as the events unfold.

The crucifixion is quite graphic – but of course, there would have been plenty of blood around.  The filmmakers did not gloss over this fact!

All the characters were believable and they all looked authentic but the performances of Joseph Fiennes as Clavius, Tom Felton as a young Roman soldier, and Peter Firth as Pontius Pilate particularly stood out to us.

The film had a strong emotional impact on us and we didn’t want it to end.  It left us with a warm and reassured feeling and we would thoroughly recommend it to other groups.

We decided to do the study in the Leader’s Guide.  The first week we did Filmchat and Part one: The Resurrection Mystery, and the second week we did Part Two:  On a Journey.  It was good to discuss the film and share our feelings and reactions to a totally different viewpoint on the Resurrection.


Sylvia Green