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New concert film about Christ to premiere in East Idaho

Faith

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IDAHO FALLS — A new religious concert film is set to open at several theaters in eastern Idaho.

The film, “Lamb of God,” chronicles the last week in the life of Jesus Christ. The film is adapted from a piece writer/conductor/director Rob Gardner wrote around ten years ago and tells its story entirely through narration and music.

“It’s been performed around the country and around the world for the last few years,” Gardener told EastIdahoNews.com. “We decided to do it in this format because this year (with COVID-19), it’s harder for people to get out to performances.”

Gardner said “Lamb of God” offers a unique take on Christ’s life by telling the story from the perspectives of people who followed and loved him.

“The story’s been told a lot of times in a lot of different ways, musically, theatrically, dramatically and in literature,” said Gardner. “What I landed on was that I wanted to tell the story of the people who surround Christ. So Peter and the other Apostles, Thomas, John, Mary Magdalene, Mary his mother and all those people that had personal relationships with him. So it isn’t just a straight ‘Here’s the last week of Christ’s life’ but how did that affect the people who were in his life.”

As a story told through the eyes of the people around Christ, “Lamb of God” presented an opportunity to further explore some figures in the story that don’t receive a lot of attention in The Bible. One of those figures is Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus, portrayed in the film by singer Oyoyo Bonner.

“We don’t really dive into Mary of Bethany in the scriptures,” said Bonner. “As I was studying her in the scriptures and looking her up I learned that Jesus loves this lady. He calls Mary to him and Mary goes to him overwhelmed with sadness and says ‘Lord, if you would’ve been here, my brother would still be alive.’ And that causes Jesus to weep. The shortest verse in the scriptures, ‘Jesus wept,’ is because he sees Mary’s pain about her brother.”

Another Bible figure who gets the spotlight in “Lamb of God” is the Apostle Peter, played by Casey Elliott. He said he was excited to play Peter because he’s so relatable.

“(Peter) is so willing and yet he isn’t perfect,” Elliott said. “I think that’s probably true of all of us. We have a desire to do good and follow God and help our neighbor but we sometimes fall short. And yet, even despite some of those things, the Lord still did incredible things with him. I think we can all put ourselves in his shoes because I think that’s something all of us desire.”

Gardner said “Lamb of God” conveys a message of hope that even will uplift even non-religious viewers.

“I feel like there’s always a strong need for hope in our lives and in the world,” Gardner said. “Apart from religious beliefs or backgrounds, the story is a really profound story of humanity and of people struggling in a dark time to find peace and hope and light. So I think from any viewpoint, it’s a beautiful story and for those with faith, it goes beyond being beautiful into being foundational to who they are.”

“Lamb of God” opens Friday, March 12 at the Blackfoot Movie Mill in Blackfoot, the Paramount 4 in Idaho Falls and the Paramount 5 and Fat Cats Cinema 6 in Rexburg. Visit the movie’s official website for more information about the cast and to get tickets.

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