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The Miracle Maker


  1. Directed by: Derek W. Hayes
    Stanislav Sokolov
  2. Produced by: Naomi Jones
  3. Written by: Murray Watts
  4. Music by: Anne Dudley
  5. Cinematography by:
  6. Editing by: Robert Francis
    William Oswald
    John Richards
  7. Release Date: 2000
  8. Running Time: 90
  9. Language: English

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix

The Miracle Maker is a singular achievement: a Jesus movie simple enough for children, sophisticated enough for scripture scholars and theologians, and artful enough for discerning cinephiles. A joint project of Welsh and Russian animation houses, the film was co-directed by Derek W. Hayes and Stanislav Sokolov, with a brilliant screenplay by Murray Watts that is a marvel of compression, packing an immense wealth of scriptural, theological, historical and cultural content into a deceptively simple narrative.

Jesus and his world are brought to life by remarkably persuasive stop-motion animation, the work of Russian puppeteers. A second animation style, traditional hand-painted cel animation, is used to depict subjective, imaginative or interior episodes: Jesus’ parables; flashbacks depicting characters’ memories or reported experiences; inner hopes or struggles, from Jesus’ temptations to Judas’ anxieties. As voiced by Ralph Fiennes, Jesus is warmly accessible, down to earth, humorous and compassionate, yet also enigmatic, compelling and authoritative. He’s a guy you’d like to hang around with, yet also someone you can understand leaving everything to follow.

Through shrewd linking and conflating of characters, the film frames the Gospel story through the eyes of a minor New Testament figure, the synagogue leader Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter, whom Jesus raises from the dead. Here named Tamar, she functions as a key viewpoint character to important moments in Jesus’s public career and beyond. Notably, children are part of the social mix whenever Jesus is teaching, and whenever he starts a parable Jesus always turns to the children, an unobtrusive illustration of Jesus’ all-embracing openness to everyone. Yet the reaction shots after the parables are of the adults present, highlighting Jesus’ challenge, and the film’s, to become as little children.

--Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films)


  1. Directed by: Derek W. Hayes
    Stanislav Sokolov
  2. Produced by: Naomi Jones
  3. Written by: Murray Watts
  4. Music by: Anne Dudley
  5. Cinematography by:
  6. Editing by: Robert Francis
    William Oswald
    John Richards
  7. Release Date: 2000
  8. Running Time: 90
  9. Language: English

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix

The Miracle Maker is a singular achievement: a Jesus movie simple enough for children, sophisticated enough for scripture scholars and theologians, and artful enough for discerning cinephiles. A joint project of Welsh and Russian animation houses, the film was co-directed by Derek W. Hayes and Stanislav Sokolov, with a brilliant screenplay by Murray Watts that is a marvel of compression, packing an immense wealth of scriptural, theological, historical and cultural content into a deceptively simple narrative.

Jesus and his world are brought to life by remarkably persuasive stop-motion animation, the work of Russian puppeteers. A second animation style, traditional hand-painted cel animation, is used to depict subjective, imaginative or interior episodes: Jesus’ parables; flashbacks depicting characters’ memories or reported experiences; inner hopes or struggles, from Jesus’ temptations to Judas’ anxieties. As voiced by Ralph Fiennes, Jesus is warmly accessible, down to earth, humorous and compassionate, yet also enigmatic, compelling and authoritative. He’s a guy you’d like to hang around with, yet also someone you can understand leaving everything to follow.

Through shrewd linking and conflating of characters, the film frames the Gospel story through the eyes of a minor New Testament figure, the synagogue leader Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter, whom Jesus raises from the dead. Here named Tamar, she functions as a key viewpoint character to important moments in Jesus’s public career and beyond. Notably, children are part of the social mix whenever Jesus is teaching, and whenever he starts a parable Jesus always turns to the children, an unobtrusive illustration of Jesus’ all-embracing openness to everyone. Yet the reaction shots after the parables are of the adults present, highlighting Jesus’ challenge, and the film’s, to become as little children.

--Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films)

The Miracle Maker is a singular achievement: a Jesus movie simple enough for children, sophisticated enough for scripture scholars and theologians, and artful enough for discerning cinephiles. A joint project of Welsh and Russian animation houses, the film was co-directed by Derek W. Hayes and Stanislav Sokolov, with a brilliant screenplay by Murray Watts that is a marvel of compression, packing an immense wealth of scriptural, theological, historical and cultural content into a deceptively simple narrative.

Jesus and his world are brought to life by remarkably persuasive stop-motion animation, the work of Russian puppeteers. A second animation style, traditional hand-painted cel animation, is used to depict subjective, imaginative or interior episodes: Jesus’ parables; flashbacks depicting characters’ memories or reported experiences; inner hopes or struggles, from Jesus’ temptations to Judas’ anxieties. As voiced by Ralph Fiennes, Jesus is warmly accessible, down to earth, humorous and compassionate, yet also enigmatic, compelling and authoritative. He’s a guy you’d like to hang around with, yet also someone you can understand leaving everything to follow.

Through shrewd linking and conflating of characters, the film frames the Gospel story through the eyes of a minor New Testament figure, the synagogue leader Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter, whom Jesus raises from the dead. Here named Tamar, she functions as a key viewpoint character to important moments in Jesus’s public career and beyond. Notably, children are part of the social mix whenever Jesus is teaching, and whenever he starts a parable Jesus always turns to the children, an unobtrusive illustration of Jesus’ all-embracing openness to everyone. Yet the reaction shots after the parables are of the adults present, highlighting Jesus’ challenge, and the film’s, to become as little children.

--Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films)


  1. Directed by: Derek W. Hayes
    Stanislav Sokolov
  2. Produced by: Naomi Jones
  3. Written by: Murray Watts
  4. Music by: Anne Dudley
  5. Cinematography by:
  6. Editing by: Robert Francis
    William Oswald
    John Richards
  7. Release Date: 2000
  8. Running Time: 90
  9. Language: English

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix
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