Many families are getting together to celebrate Easter and Passover, and will spend some of their time watching fun family movie favorites.
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, as described in the Bible and is typically observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox (around March 21), which is why Easter dates vary from year to year.
It’s considered the most important celebration in the Christian faith, because it commemorates the belief Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.
Many Christians attend church services on Easter Sunday and participate in special traditions, such as decorating Easter eggs and eating Easter candy.
Passover is a Jewish holiday commemorating the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt, as the Hebrew Bible describes.
The holiday is celebrated for seven or eight days, beginning on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, which usually falls in March or April. During Passover, Jews participate in several unique traditions, including the Seder meal, in which they retell the story of the Exodus and eat symbolic foods like matzah (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs.
Passover also involves removing all chametz (leavened products) from home and replacing them with matzah, as a reminder of the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt and did not have time for their bread to rise.
Passover is considered one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar and is marked by religious and cultural traditions.
Here are 5 Popular Easter and Passover Movies
Easter and Passover both serve as opportunities for people to reflect on their faith and to come together with loved ones to celebrate the season.
The Ten Commandments (1956)
“The Ten Commandments” is an epic film directed by Cecil B. DeMille that was released in 1956.
The movie tells the story of Moses, an Egyptian prince who discovers his true Hebrew identity and leads his people out of slavery in Egypt, with the help of God and the Ten Commandments.
The film stars Charlton Heston as Moses, Yul Brynner as Pharaoh Rameses II, and Anne Baxter as Queen Nefretiri. “The Ten Commandments” is a classic film that is often shown during the Easter and Passover seasons, as it has themes of faith, redemption, and freedom that are relevant to both holidays.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
“The Passion of the Christ” is a 2004 movie directed by Mel Gibson, which depicts the final hours of the life of Jesus Christ.
The film shows Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death. The movie is notable for its graphic and violent depictions of Jesus’ suffering, which has made it controversial among some viewers. The movie stars Jim Caviezel as Jesus, and also features Maia Morgenstern as Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene.
“The Passion of the Christ” was released just before Easter in 2004 and has since become a popular Easter movie, as it focuses on the Christian belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Ben-Hur” is a 1959 epic film directed by William Wyler, based on the novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” by Lew Wallace.
The movie tells the story of a Jewish prince named Judah Ben-Hur, who is betrayed by his childhood friend Messala and sentenced to slavery in the Roman Empire. The movie depicts his journey to regain his freedom and seek revenge against Messala, all while encountering Jesus Christ at various points in his life.
The film stars Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur and Stephen Boyd as Messala. “Ben-Hur” won a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest epic films of all time.
The movie is often associated with the Easter season due to its themes of redemption and forgiveness, which are central to Christian beliefs.
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
“The Prince of Egypt” is a 1998 animated film directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells.
The movie tells the story of Moses, who was adopted by the Egyptian Pharaoh as an infant and later discovers his true Hebrew identity.
Moses then leads the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, with the help of God and his brother, the Pharaoh. The film features an all-star voice cast, including Val Kilmer as Moses, Ralph Fiennes as the Pharaoh, Michelle Pfeiffer as Tzipporah, and Sandra Bullock as Miriam.
The movie is known for its top notch animation, memorable songs, and touching story. “The Prince of Egypt” has become a popular movie to watch during the Passover season, as it tells the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt, a central event in the holiday’s history.
Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
“Fiddler on the Roof” is a 1971 musical film directed by Norman Jewison, based on the Broadway musical of the same name by Joseph Stein.
The movie tells the story of Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman living in a small village in Russia at the turn of the 20th century, and his struggle to maintain his religious traditions and values in the face of changing times and societal pressures.
The film stars Topol as Tevye, and also features Norma Crane as his wife, Golde, and Leonard Frey as his eldest daughter’s suitor, Motel. “Fiddler on the Roof” is a beloved musical that features classic songs such as “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”
While not directly associated with Easter or Passover, the movie deals with themes of tradition, family, and faith that are relevant to both holidays.
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