The Lost Tomb of Jesus (2007) Review
(More customer reviews)I consider myself quite open-minded when it comes to these type of religious historical documentaries. In fact, I am usually thrilled at the idea that someone discovered archaeological evidence of a religious person. Thus, it's strange for this documentary to really turn me off.
I'm mainly annoyed by the narration and structure of the documentary. I think if it wasn't for that, I might have liked it more. Two things bothered me in particular: one was the way the documentary presented its arguments and the other was the omnipresence of the director, Simcha Jacobovici.
The documentary does a very misleading thing. Whenever it encounters a potential piece of evidence that doesn't fit into their argument, they find a way of suggesting that it could potentially fit, and then thereafter refer to it as if they've proven their point. For example, they bring up the problem of "Mariamne" - who could she be? Her mention in the Acts of Philip in reference to Mary Magdalene was cited as evidence that this could mean the real Mary Magdalene (never for once questioning the historical validity of the Acts of Philip). Then they show you a dramatic reconstruction of Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus, and from that point on, the documentary acts as if they've proven without a doubt that Mariamne is Mary Magdalene. They continue doing that with all the pieces of evidence that don't quite fit, without nothing that these evidence are all linked, so if even one of them is false, then the rest of their case falls apart.
Consider this line of thinking: You want to find out who stole your bicycle. You see a footprint that belongs to a shoe that maybe Billy wore, and maybe he was in your neighborhood even though he lives an hour away, and maybe his bicycle broke down which is why he needed yours, and maybe he liked your bicycle among all the others in the neighborhood. Well, if any one of these "maybe's" are false, your case falls apart.
I know they try to do the statistical argument, but what does 1 in 60,000 mean? It sounds like a huge possibility but they never to bother elaborating on that.
The other thing, and perhaps the most annoying thing, about the documentary is Simcha Jacobovici, who comes across as biased as Michael Moore (whom, incidentally, I actually like). His bias is so obvious that it puts into question the entire construction of the project, including how the film was edited, who and what did they leave out, and so on.
As I said, I would really like to believe the arguments in this documentary, and some of it is quite convincing, but the flawed line of thinking and the bias of the director makes it very suspect. There was some good production values, but other than that, it was a poorly conceived project on a potentially fascinating find.
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The feature-length widescreen Directors Cut of the Discovery Channel special executive produced by James Cameron. In 1980, a bulldozer accidentally uncovered a first-century tomb in Jerusalem. Of the ten ossuaries (stone coffins) found inside, six bore inscriptions: Jesus son of Joseph, Maria, Mariamene (the name by which Mary Magdalene was known), Joseph, Matthew, and Judah son of Jesus. Dismissed by archaeologists as coincidence, the ossuaries were warehoused and forgotten. Twenty-five years later, filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and his team took a fresh look at this astounding cluster of New Testament names. Granted unparalleled access, they went in search of the ossuaries and the lost tomb. What they found may well be the most controversial archaeological discovery of all time.Features 80 minutes of exclusive bonus materials including: Interviews with executive producer James Cameron and director Simcha JacoboviciExpert Interviews: The Discovery 1980, Judeo Christians, The Early Christian Cluster of Evidence, The Sign of the Cross, The Chevron Symbol, MariamneThe Recreations: Behind the ScenesThe Lost Tomb of Jesus Epilogue featuring James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici Photo GalleryTrailer