Joseph (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament)

Make a case for why you think The story of Joseph should be developed into a film
A brief summary of the character’s story, with more attention to the following:
a. What makes this character interesting? Is he/she a fully “round” character, with complex traits? What are they? Is there any development in the character from beginning to end?
b. What is the central conflict that propels the story forward—why will people be engaged in it?
c. What are one or two major themes the story develops?
d. Choose one scene that you think illustrates these things and discuss it

Some background on the historical dimensions of the text:
a. Approximately when does it take place?
b. What elements from the culture do we need to take into account (e.g., social structures like gender relations, political structures like pharaohs, etc.)
c. Is there any question among historians about the historicity of this story, or significant aspects of it? Should this matter to us?

 Some ways the story intersects with contemporary concerns, such as the war(s) in the Middle East, family dynamics, some sort of moral or lesson.
Essay 1: Pitching a Bible Film
Religion

Famous Film Producer:

Bible films are hot – Son of God, Noah, Exodus, this year alone. There’s something in the air that has got people connecting with Biblical themes and stories. Noah, for example, clearly resonated with our culture’s concern about the environment, as well as the post-apocalyptic fascination. We’ve got to get on board with this trend; but I want it to be something that will resonate, not just a cinematic depiction of some ancient story. I’d like a story from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, but I can’t decide which one. This is where you, junior Bible scholar, come in. Below is a list of characters/stories that, on the surface, would seem to make for a good film; I’d like you to choose one of them and make a case for why you think it should be developed into a film. I want a film that has both drama and a connection to the present day (box office success isn’t the main goal, but it wouldn’t suck). Here are the characters/stories I’m considering:

Abraham, Sarah, Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Esther, Ruth, Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, Elijah, Job. (If you think you have a better idea, I am open to suggestions.)

Here’s what I need from you, since you’re studying the Bible so closely:

 A brief summary of the character’s story, with more attention to the following:
a. What makes this character interesting? Is he/she a fully “round” character, with complex traits? What are they? Is there any development in the character from beginning to end?
b. What is the central conflict that propels the story forward—why will people be engaged in it?
c. What are one or two major themes the story develops?
d. Choose one scene that you think illustrates these things and discuss it

 Some background on the historical dimensions of the text:
a. Approximately when does it take place?
b. What elements from the culture do we need to take into account (e.g., social structures like gender relations, political structures like pharaohs, etc.)
c. Is there any question among historians about the historicity of this story, or significant aspects of it? Should this matter to us?

 Some ways the story intersects with contemporary concerns, such as the war(s) in the Middle East, family dynamics, some sort of moral or lesson.

 Finally, I need some suggestions for who to play the main character(s)—don’t worry about cost for now; and I need a trailer—at least the text, but some description of images would be good. E.g., Rebekah: The story of a woman torn between love for her son and love for her husband…You know what I’m talking about.

That should do it. I don’t want it to be too long—4-5 pages or so. Dazzle me.

 

 

 

From your religion instructor: Some resources to help inform your pitch:

A concordance, which will help you figure out where your character appears in the Bible. It’s an alphabetical list of every word that occurs in the Bible, and its chapter and verse. There are some in the reference room, but you may also use one of the many on-line concordances (e.g., http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/ (be sure to choose the NRSV for your search).

A Bible Dictionary, e.g., The Anchor Bible Dictionary. This will be helpful both for getting at the character—there will be an entry for your character—as well as for historical background. For example, you might want to look up “patriarchy” or “slavery” or some such.

A Bible Commentary, i.e., a verse-by-verse interpretation of a biblical book. For this essay, you really only need the one-volume variety, e.g., The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary, or Harper’s—there are several.

Be sure to cite and give proper credit to any ideas or quotes you glean from secondary sources (see citation guide); the producer will want to be able to follow up on some of your work, and, in Hollywood, giving proper credit is very important! (You could get sued!)

 

Last Updated on March 9, 2020