Sunday, April 24, 2011

Every Easter weekend, network television treats us to a showing of the Passover story, in the form of Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 motion picture, The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston.  Did you catch it last night?  I did.  I just love seeing Edward G. Robinson, best known for his gangster roles, playing the villainous Hebrew, Dathan.

Here's an old trailer for the film:

But I am also very fond of the 1998 Dreamworks animated version of the Exodus, The Prince of Egypt.  Here is the scene where Moses encounters the burning bush.  As I recall, the voice of God comes from Val Kilmer, the same actor who plays Moses, the idea being that God is, as the prophet Elijah described it, that still, small voice within:

And here is the film's musical rendition of the exodus from Egypt.  This is what the fan write-up on the YouTube page says:

"When You Believe" is the Official Movie Soundtrack of Prince of Egypt.

In the film, this song of inspiration is performed by the characters Tzipporah (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Miriam (sung by Sally Dworsky). The protagonists of this ballad recall tough times that have them questioning their faith: they have prayed for many nights to God but those prayers seem to remain unanswered, and they wonder if they are wasting their time. Nevertheless, they realize that although times may be difficult, "there can be miracles when you believe" in God.

It's a sweet song for a sweet holiday, and I love how they work the Hebrew prayers into it.  And what better way to sum up the spiritual message of Pesach, than the simple statement:  There can be miracles

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