Abraham – One of the best films of the Old Testament Biblical era.
Richard Harris portrays old Abraham as the fallible human being that he surely was. Barbara Hershey (Sarah) is equal to the challenge of becoming a woman who, even in her advanced years, maintains a beauty which can entice a Pharaoh of Egypt.
The research production crew of Abraham certainly did their homework. As an ancient Sumerian, Abraham was part of a thriving and wealthy culture, which invented everything from schools, to surgery, to a codified law system. The Mesopotamian custom of producing a son through the wife’s handmaid is handled with accuracy and tact. Relevant in light of today’s Arab/Israeli conflict is the fact that this custom produced the Arab race through Ishmael, whereas the children of Isaac (the chosen people of God) became the Hebrews.
Another piece of excellent background the film delivers, is the covenant-making ceremony in the presence of the king’s ‘Divine Right’ to rule. The scene in Haran is exceptionally well done–right down to the Sumerian’s penchant for bargaining.
The animal sacrifice is handled with welcome reserve. So too, is the custom of midwifery, and how grief-stricken Sarah must have felt being childless for many years, indeed did deliver so many children through other women.
In summary, this version of the Abraham is right up there with the best of the films in this genre.
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