pick of the week
Jesus: The Cold Case
Saturday, 7.30pm, History Multi-award-winning New Zealand documentary maker Bryan Bruce wears many hats. With a sociology, psychology and philosophy degree under his arm, he taught for 10 years and was a professional musician for 20 years. He has spent the past 30 or so years making films about a wide variety of subjects including suicide, the Kiwi sense of humour, mass murderers, child poverty, bugs and dinosaurs. Much of his work has been picked up by international networks. Jesus: The
Cold Case is his most controversial project. When it was finished in 2011, TVNZ was at first reluctant to release it and some critics gave it the thumbs down, but it went on to win the Aotearoa award for best documentary as well as silver and bronze medals in religion and history categories at the New York Festivals Television & Film Awards. It’s fitting this program should be shown at Easter. Whether or not you accept Bruce’s theories they are at least thought-provoking. He introduces the documentary standing outside the walls of Old Jerusalem on the spot where Jesus was crucified. “Why?” he asks. “The traditional answer according to the Gospels is that the Jews turned against him and asked Pontius Pilot to have him crucified. Trouble is, I don’t think that’s how it happened. So I went back to see what happened because to me it’s the ultimate cold case.” In talking here to scholars and experts on the subject, he discovers how a lie told in the first century about the death of Jesus was used to change a gospel of love into a theology of hate.