The Green Pastures (acquired through trading). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

This all-black cast film portrays African-American versions of Old Testament stories such as the Garden of Eden, Noah and the Ark, and Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt. As usual for this sort of movie, it’s full of both stereotypes and genuine African-American culture and it’s difficult to tell the difference between the two. There’s a charming earnestness about the proceedings, but there’s also a patronizing undertone, as if the beliefs that are being portrayed are of simple, childlike folk. The theology is maddeningly simplistic at some points, while at other points, such as God’s discovery of mercy, it’s complex and fascinating. I would like to see a movie like this made without the constraints of white expectations and stereotypes. Still, overall it’s an interesting movie to watch, as it’s obvious a lot of effort was put into it. I especially enjoyed its down-to-earth portrayal of heaven, right down to the angelic cleaning women who wear apron-like garments on their wings.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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