I just had the opportunity to watch the movie Son Of Man. It's a translation of the life of Jesus Christ to contemporary Africa. It's a beautiful, inspiring and moving movie. The movie is a narrative interpretation of the life of Christ. It's not absolutely true to the story, like The Passion tries (and fails) to be,
In the Son Of Man there is an oppressing power and a local power. Jesus is portrait as a socialist leader going against both powers and mostly troubling the local power. These local power are the ones who eventually kill him. The human side of Jesus is a social, caring and strong man fighting injustice and living in the suburbs. The movie makes a political statement about the situation in Africa and the position the West takes towards this situation and this political statement is right on the spot. The beauty is that the political side of this movie is in line with God's preferential option for the poor.
In a subtle and humorous way the movie comments on the position of woman. A few of the disciples are woman. There is no emphasis on this fact, it just is like this. Woman have exactly the same position a men.
The movie takes a recognizable stand. For example the betrayal of Peter. When reading the Bible, or hearing the stories as a kid, it's easy to judge Peter for his betrayal. In this movie it becomes understandable. Saying you belong the same group as Jesus (even if it would just be a political group) when three armed soldiers have cornered you is a challenge (to put it mildly).
Gospel according to Mark
I belief this movie is mostly based on the Gospel according to Mark. I have several reasons for this these. The first one is based on the theory of the mystery of Mark. In this gospel Mark never tells us, his readers, directly that Jesus is the Christ. He just suggests it. Marks intended audience were the Jews in Israel and mostly in Jerusalem. They would directly understand this subtle way of narrating.
The Jesus in Son Of Man is mostly portrait as a special man, but there are some suggestions he is much more that this. For example the angels he sees, talks to and plays with or the people he heals. There is no definition of what he is and if he really is more than just a man.
Based on the oldest version of the Gospel according to Mark, the last verses, Mark 16:9-20, are missing. They seem to be added in later version. The original version ends with the suggestion of an open grave. Nothing more, nothing less. The ending of the movie seems to be "added". The movie could have ended earlier, the moment Jesus' follower take over. But the dance of Jesus with the angels, a lot of them, are added. Just a suggestion. Nothing more, nothing less.
It's a beautiful movie to watch. It's a little strange to see an African Jesus, but that's just the beauty of it. It shows in which ways the story of Christ is able to speak to anyone.