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4.4 out of 5 stars31
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2008
Some lively direction and great performances bring some life to what could have been a bleak story.
Over 6 Centuries before Christ, Judah is revitalised when the ancient scrolls are discovered and the temple is restored. The young Jeremiah is born into the order of the priesthood, and his faith and tradition become the cornerstone of his existence during this renaissance of sorts. However, 16 years later the adult Jeremiah receives a Word from God that nobody wants to hear - that the sins and excesses of Judah are going to lead to the destruction of Jerusalem, and the people will be led into bondage. Does he have the faith and strength to deliver the Word, facing ostracism from his family, tragic separation from the woman he loves, and persecution for treason?
Some license has been taken to add some characters and give some depth to Jeremiah's character - a tack which can lead movie versions of bible stories into rough water - however with Patrick Dempsey as Jeremiah, the effect here is to bring out a real sense of the humanity of the prophet, making the sense of sacrifice relevant and believable. However, the gentle looking man does not flinch from forcefully speaking the Word when it is needed - watch out for the flying spittle! The weak King Zedekiah is also well portrayed and a few starry cameos are welcome - Oliver Reed in fine form, and Klaus Maria Brandauer oddly believable as the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, despite that resolutely European accent.
The Bible series always seems to have tackled the subject of God speaking in a sensitive way, and the manner in which He speaks here is done very effectively, portraying how surreal and powerful the moment is while avoiding the `Booming American Voice cliché of so many movies. The scene in which Jeremiah first acts as God's voice piece is particularly well done.
Taking into account some crisp and colourful photography and reasonable production values given the TV budget, it's a valiant attempt at a rarely told story - of course, it's not as good as the book it's based on. (7/10)
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on 3 March 2004
This film is an excellent telling of Jeremiah's life, and although time has been compressed, and some fictitious characters added to fill out the scenario, the heart of this part of biblical history is intact, and follows the accounts given in The Book of Jeremiah, II Kings 23-25, and II Chronicles 34-36.
Some of the additions: The lovely "Judith" (Lenor Varela) as an early love interest, and "General Safan", played by that lionesque man, Oliver Reed, as one of Jeremiah's adversaries, and someone who consistently gives bad advice to the king.
Among the omissions: Jeremiah's good years, when he was a friend and confidant to the devout King Josiah, which ended in 609 B.C. with the Josiah's death.
Jeremiah was older when most of the events that take place in this film occur, and had been ministering since 627 B.C.
The film starts with the finding the scriptures, which King Josiah reads to the people, and a young Jeremiah, "I cannot speak, for I am only a youth" (Jer. 1:6).
Sixteen years elapse, and in some of the following scenes, Jehoiakim (Josiah's son) is king, and the constant and brutal persecution of Jeremiah begins.
Patrick Dempsey is wonderful as Jeremiah, and also Stuart Bunce as his faithful scribe Baruch (it is Baruch who in all probability recorded The Book of Jeremiah).
Enter Nebuchadnezzar, played with gusto by Klaus Maria Brandauer. This is one nasty guy, but he is the instrument to complete Jeremiah's prophesies, with his armies sacking and burning the temple (in 586 B.C.) and the ensuing famine in the land. Nebuchadnezzar takes Jehoiakim's son and succesor Jehoiachin captive, and and places his uncle Zedekiah (formerly known as Mattaniah) as king.
The final 10 minutes of this film are riveting, with King Zedekiah's fate brilliantly depicted (literaly taken from II Kings 25:7), and Jeremiah's story, though a sad one, is one of faith and perseverance, and well worth watching.
Most of the films in this series are terrific, and have beautiful cinematography by Raffaele Mertes; they are set in Quarzazate, Morocco, with its rugged landscape and ancient structures. A good score by Bruce Broughton adds to the atmosphere, and it's well directed and written (with a fair portion taken from the scriptures) by Harry Winer.
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The Bible - Jeremiah with Oliver Reed.

This film keeps to the Biblical story of Jeremiah very well. I enjoyed the scenes of Jeremiah talking (ok shouting) with the crowd - warning them. It gaves life to the reading of the same story in the Bible.

This film will suit anyone who knows the Biblical story of Jeremiah - read the book first.
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on 27 February 2013
When tackling any biblical topics for an actor, could well be daunting.I'm pleasantly surprised by Patrick Dempseys portrayal of the prophet Jeremiah; exceptional, the feeling he portrayed ; the agony, the angst of fulfilling through obedience God's call on his life was superb.A stella supporting cast also.
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on 8 April 2013
Very happy with this film, view it had no problems at all.
Good quality picture and sound.
As I like christian film, it give me a real pleasure to watch thtis film.
Very enjoyable.
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on 20 March 2013
This is a great series of bible films. I read along the bible with it and it is pretty accurate helps bring the bible to life and puts things chronologically
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on 24 July 2013
This is fab. I really enjoyed it. Got me reading the book of Jeremiah again. I would recommend it to all interested in the bible
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on 20 January 2013
The viewing of Jeremiah's life in this DVD gave an overall account of events in this Biblical event bringing it to life.
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on 30 June 2014
Boring and one of the last Oliver Reed Films when he was doing anything to make money. He plays a small part in it and doesn't even appear until about 45 minutes into film. So don't buy it just for Oliver Reed. If it's religious education you want then I suppose you'll find it ok. I fell asleep twice watching this.
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on 5 October 2015
Well done - a tough job to make Jeremiah's story so appealing. The vulnerability of this actor's presentation made me feel how he must have felt - to have his young life interrupted with a call of this magnitude on it. When he doggedly stayed loyal to God's message in the face of opposition, risking torture (which didn't happen) and even risking death, I really felt that it was God giving him the certainty, rather than his own personal abilities or strength. This isn't an easy job to portray. Baruch also was well cast, and was convincing in his role. Two young men, singled out to face 'giants' just as other prophets were, placing their trust in God's word to them rather than that of anyone else, infused with the certainty that the future of their nation and its people was only secure if they paid attention to what God told him personally. Wow.
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