Thursday, 23 April 2015
Passage to Zarahemla
In this mythical America there was a city called Zarahemla, a Nephite stronghold. Zarahemla is a great name, and hence the title Passage to Zarahemla, a 2007 teen movie set in - where else? - Utah. I found the DVD staring back at me in a pile of el cheapo bargain movies ($3.99) and, lo, the spirit spake unto me, buy that sucker.
This is possibly one of the worst movies I've seen in the last decade. On one level it's Sci-Fi with the modern world overlapping across the centuries with the long lost world of the Nephites in an isolated part of Utah. On another level it's faith-building LDS propaganda. Troubled modern teenage girl falls for broad-shouldered Nephite warrior. Mormon granddad gifts her with an early copy of the Book of Mormon which makes it all plain. Lots of heart-warming family themes. Baddies and Goodies. Did I mention that, apart from a couple of the lead characters, there's some outstandingly bad acting?
A fictional treatment of a fictional subject which parades as real history. The Salt Lake Tribune called it "a stimulating Action-adventure", but I'm thinking they were somewhat predisposed to a positive review. When it hit the Utah cinema circuit it catapulted to #4 in the first week.
There are some Latter-day Saints who approach the Book of Mormon as an inspired novel rather than a text grounded in real historical events. I can respect that. But I guess if you take a more naive approach you come up with this kind of schmaltz.
Maybe there's a lesson here for those who do the same with Biblical epics.
Posted by Gavin R at 23:43