That's the premise of The Body, a new movie by writer/director Jonas McCord, who previously wrote Malice. In the film, the Vatican is predictably traumatized by the apparent discovery of Christ's unresurrected bones. A priest named Father Lavelle (Derek Jacobi) starts shouting the obvious dilemma, in case the audience isn't properly coaxed to the edge of their seats: "What if it's him? The unrisen Christ? The end of Christianity!"
Enter the hero—Father Matt Gutierrez (Antonio Banderas)—a Catholic priest with a strong resemblance to Zorro. Gutierrez is exhorted by the church to investigate and to "protect the faith." But Guitierrez isn't as fretful as his fellow friars. He just wants to know the truth. This is evidence that demands a verdict.
No doubt this troubling premise has the potential to lead us into a heated discussion about the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection. What would happen to the world if such a discovery was made? Would denominations turn upon each other causing schisms throughout the church? Would nations go to war? Would Christianity truly be doomed? Ask yourself: Is your faith in carbon dating and archaeology, or in the promises of Scripture? Interesting questions.
If The Body explores these issues seriously, if it is more concerned with art than entertainment, we might have a real discussion piece on our hands. And perhaps a scandal as well. It's not hard to imagine religious protesters outside the theaters and prominent Christian apologists on 60 Minutes and Nightline reassuring us that the Resurrection is real, and rebuking Hollywood ...1
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