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« Theology & Film - Podcast Lecture 7 | Main | Film Review - "The Matrix" »

September 12, 2007


Angie Bulic

* Spiderman in 'Spiderman 2' - choses to puts aside his relationship with the girl, for the greater good and is symbolically 'crucified' in the scene where he was saving helpless people in the train.

* Aslan in 'Chronicles of Narnia' - the lion sacrifices himself for Edmund but is ressurected to defeat the White Witch.

* Simba in 'The Lion King' - he leaves his breezy life with Timone and Pumba to save the animal kingdom from the hyiena's.

Jacqueline Worcester

The three Christlike figures that I identified in various films that I have viewed are as follows:

The first movie I chose is the film "DEAD MAN WALKING". The character I picked out of this movie is the Part of sister Helen Prejean played by Susan Sarandon. This movie is based on a true story of a man who was convicted of rape and muder and sentenced on death row.

We see Sister Helen Prejean as a Christ like figure in numerous ways throughout the film. Firstly she has chosen to give up a life of wealth and comfort to live and minister to the poor, Just as Luke-Acts outlines Jesus' ministry with the poor, needy and disenfrachised.

Matthew Poncelet,(played by Sean Penn) contacted her and asked her to be a spiritual adviser for him. She accepts this task and preceeds to love him and tells him the gospel.

Just as it is Christ will that none should perish, she believed that even a criminal on death row was worthy of a chance for redemption.

There is one last scene before he is executed, where Sister Helen Particulary shows Christ Love and compassion when she encouraged him with the words: "Look, I want the last thing you see in this world to be a face of love. Look at me, I'll be the face of Love for you." Again showing Christ Love to him, and it is because of this love that he experienced repentance and a sense of love that he had never felt before.

The second movie I chose was "JOSEPH KING OF DREAMS". This animated movie is about the biblical story of Joseph voiced by Ben Affleck.

I Picked the character of Joseph as a Christlike figure for numerous resons:

Firstly, Just as Christ was rejected by man, Joseph was rejected by his brothers.

Just as Jesus was sold for the price of a slave, Joseph was sold into slavery.

Joseph gave food to his brothers and Jesus is the bread of life for Israel in the wilderness.

Joseph had a valubale coat of many colours fit for royalty and Jesus had a robe wich was so valuable the soldiers were casting lots for it.

Just as Jesus was falsly acussed of many things, so was Joseph falsly acussed of rape of Potipher's wife.

Joseph was given an Egyptian woman as his wife in the movie, and Jesus' bride is also gentile.

And lastly Joseph was worshipped by his brothers, just as Jesus recieved worship.

Finally the last Movie I chose was the animated movie "HAPPY FEET".The film takes an almost manic environmentalist stance, with Mumble's dancing somehow changing the human world and saving his clan from starvation caused by over-fishing.

The Character I have chosen Is Mumble's, Voiced by Elijah Wood and Elizabeth Daily.
In my veiw the character of Mubles is a Christlike figure in the following ways:

Firstly Mumble's Is quite misuderstood because he is different, and the Elders of the Emperor clan sent Mumble into exile. Just as Jesus was rejected by the very people who were ment to love him the most, the Pharisees.

Mumble then went on a quest to save the whole Penguin population, as they were dying because of over-fishing. While Mumble saved the Peguin population by dancing, Jesus saved the whole human race by self-sacrifice.

Matthew Lowe

My first Christ figure is John Creasy from the film 'Man on Fire'. This character, played by Denzel Washington, puts his life on the line to save a young girl named Pita whom he has developed a friendship with. The theme of self-sacrifice for someone you love reminded me of Christ.

My second choice is General Maximus from 'Gladiator'. One man turned the Roman empire on it's head and gave his life for an ideal he believed in, sound familiar?

My third choice is William Wallace from 'Braveheart'. One of my favourite films, again depicting a man willing to sacrifice everything to free his people. The unselfish devotion to a cause, with the willingness to die as a martyr rings true as a Christ figure for me.

Oystein Udnes

1. In K-Pax a patient in a mental hospital, Prot, is either a mentally disturbed person or an alien from the planet K-Pax, which the film really never gives an answer to. He demonstrates an outlook on life that ultimately proves inspirational for his fellow patients and especially for his psychiatrist.

2. Babette from Babette’s Feast. She demonstrates God's grace and abundant life to a pietistic society with a small view on God.

3. In V for Vandetta, the mysterious person V sacrifices himself to save a nation from tyranny.

Christie Valentine

1) Fantastic Four- Rise of the Silver Surfer. The character of the Silver Surfer is a mysterious being from another world that comes to earth with special powers and sacrfices himself for the lives of human beings. His reason- love.

2) I Robot: The main robot character of "Sunny" who has dreams and hopes and was created with a special purpose by his father (Creator). In the end, he is sent amongst the rest of his robot comrades to share with them the same hope that His father gave to him.

3) Braveheart: William Scott Wallace. The main character played by Mel Gibson shows a man who gave his life for a cause he believed in and died for. It was after his death that his followers found the courage to fight and obtain the success of freedom. Without his courage and life-example, the outcome of freedom might've never been achieved.


1) Daniel in "As it is in Heaven" - he brought a new kind of love and community into the small village, which opened the way for justice to be brought to the oppressed.

2) Honey in "Honey" - she turns away from the temptation to pursue fame and fortune and instead gives her time and energy to helping kids get off the streets and on to a path that gives them hope for the future.

3) Maria in "Sound of Music" - through her simple wisdom she succeeds in breaking down the barriers between the members of the Von Trap family and thus brings love and fellowship into their lives.

(can you tell I'm all about love and community?) :)

Rachelle Marcos

1. Superman. He sacrifices himself in order to save the world from destruction. He was struck on his side by Luther just as Christ was struck on his side by the soldier. Afterwards, he put the whole kryptonite on his shoulder as a figure Christ bearing the heavy sin of the world on himself.

2. Denzel Washington in "DeJavu" at the end of the movie sacrifices himself to redeem the people on the boat from the explosion.

3. In "The Island", Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johanssen released their fellow clones from the captivity of the 'real' humans. They could've enjoyed their own freedom but instead, they came back to the confinement risking their own lives for the freedom of all.

Chris Morrison

Stephen Spielberg on a TV special called the "100 most inspiring movies of all time"
noted that, despite being a jew, resurrection is a key theme in many of his movies. So I have sought to limit my comments to an analysis of Christological parallels in three of his films: ET, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.
I will focus on the Messianic characteristics of these movies respective protagonists- ET, Oscar Schindler and Captain John Miller.


First of all the movie ET parallels the incarnation. ET despite being an otherworldly visitor enters Elliott's life and permeates it. Even going door to door with him on halloween.

Likewise Christ entered our lives and experienced them fully. Enduring temptation, impotence, geographical limitations, weariness, ignorance and suffering. Also Christ in his incarnation was born as a Jew and was involved in all of the relevant customs of the Jewish people- Passover etc.
However the parallel to the incarnation is limited because Christ as we know was Fully Human.

ET in healing Elliotts cut finger parrallels the healings performed by Jesus. The inner glow that emanates from ET when healing Elliott parrallels John 1's description of Christ as the light of the world.

Finally ET's return to space parrallels Christ's transfiguration.

Oscar Schindler and John Miller both parallels Christ's sacrifice. Oscar Schindler sold all he had to save 1100 Jews likewise Christ limited his own divinity and entered the limitations of sinful humanity suffering death on a cross in order that he also might redeem for himself a remnant.

Captain John Miller is the highly successful leader of a brigade of troops who is asked to pick a team of eight men who will rescue one man, James Francis Ryan. This story parrallels Christ's parable of the Good Shepherd who leaves his flock of 100 sheep, just as John Miller leaves his brigade of men, in order to rescue the one lost sheep, or one man.

Prisca Post

This is podcast assignment is to identify 3 christlike figures in movies.

1. the 1st one is Man of Fire in which Denzel Washington gives his own life away for a little girl. This girl is kidnapped for a ransom and the only way she would be freed was by him exchanging his life for hers.

2. Bruce Willis in Armageddon who sacrificed his life to save the world from the meteor that was about to hit earth. He also wanted his daugther to be happy with her boyfriend, Ben Affleck.

3. In the Lord of the Ring, Sam the loyal friend of Frodo Baggins. Sam would sacrifice his life just to make sure that Frodo would succeed in the purpose that he had been given. ( to destroy the ring). Jesus died for us to bring us back into relationship with God.

Ribekka  Byberg

1. Daniel in as it is in heaven. He showed people how to love and he sacrificed so much because he loved the people in the choir.
2. As others have said, I also think Braveheart. William Wallace sacrificed everything for what he believed, freedom for his people.
3. Not without my daughter. The mother risks her life for the freedom of her daughter and her future.
I would like to say though, that these people sho elements of Christ. Christ lived completely selfish, something that the characters of these movies did not. But they reflect Christ in their love for others and their fight for what they believed in.

Christina Hodol

Firstly, I would like to suggest Superman. It's a classic however it is kinda typical of how one can view Christ. This ultimate rescuer whenever I seem to loose control over the situation I cry out help- and there He comes flying to rescue only me... Maybe a post-modern view of a saviour, but still...

Secondly, I would propose Xi in God's Must be Crazy. (For those who hasn't seen the movie - it's awesome in terms of cultural differences...and great humour for teachers.) Xi sets out to save his tribe from the evil thing that the gods has dropped from heaven (a coke bottle). And he manages to rescue them by throwing it away after having gone through a lot of hardship and struggles.

Thirdly, I would say the lion the cronicles of Narnia. Giving his life KNOWING he would get his life back.

Autumn H

1. Denzel Washington in the movie "Remember the Titans" - Denzel takes on this team of unruly, undisciplined, broken guys, and walks them through life, invites them into his world, helps them to face the reality and brokenness they face, and helps them to discover their true potential. Is a picture of the love and acceptance of Christ.
2. Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia - an explanation isn't even necessary for this one - but aslan laid down his life so that the 4 children could go free.
3. The character Pacha in "the Emperor's New Groove" - He reacts with integrity and honour when disrespected and deceived by the prince of the land. He honours his word, believes the best about people, is generous, and in doing so, helps to change the life of the prince who has deceived him. This shows again the message of redemption, that when the prince has a change of heart, is not despised and judged by his past, but accepted. It also shows the generosity and love of Christ, with no expectation of a return, just loving anyways.


1. Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars series – (I’d better be careful what I say here with devoted Star Wars fans out there!) There is the sense that he is chosen and the hero. He doesn’t really have a home, and he fights to overcome the powers of darkness.
2. Simon from ‘Simon Birch’ – He is an outcast and different. He knows God and believes that God has a purpose and plan for his life (despite what people think and tell him!). He offers love and friendship to everyone around him. Without trying to give anything away; “A situation arises that demands a hero – a very small hero.”
3. Lastly, Vianne from ‘Chocolat’ – She doesn’t like religion or getting caught up in the ‘religious events of the church’. She just loves people and accepts them for who they are and in doing so, she demonstrates the character of God to the people in the village.

Todd Janus

First- Frodo from Lord of the Rings. He chose to give up his life for Middle Earth (even though he didnt in the end, he thought he might)

Second- V from V for Vendetta. He obviously gave his life to save the world from a tyranous government.

Third- Maximus from Gladiator. Died to free Rome from the corrupt

This is a hard question because most people in (Hollywood) films today are heroes, not so much Christ figures.

Koki Sato

I would say that a first one will be William Scott Wallace from the film Braveheart(everyone list up him) The scene in which he cried out 'freedom' when he was executed always reminds me of his sacrifice for freedom. He was able to ask mercy for saving his own life but he didn't. He sacrificed himself for freedom of the nation and what he believed. I think we can see christlike figure in his life.

Second one will be 'Priest' in the film of 'Les miserables'(1998) As Jean Valjean stole Priest's sliver candlesticks and was arrested and brought before him, Priest forgave him and gave the silver candlesticks to him. Priest said to him 'you are the new man'. Priest gave Jean Valjean the most important thing and so that Prist gave new life to Jean Valjean. Jean Valjean and his life has totally changed by new life that wa given by Priest.
I think Christ exactly did same thing to us.

Finally, a third one will be Roberto Benigni (Guido Orefice) from the film of "Life is beautiful. Again, he sacrificed himself to save his son. Also he loved his son and always made him laugh in a difficult situation. He has been the comfort to his son. We can see christlike figure in him, i think.

Pete Hordern

Kingdom of Heaven, not only is this oe of my fav movies of ALL time, other than Robin Hood, I can see some distinct Christ characters in it.
Obviously its the main character Balian. A blacksmith(carpenter) who is called by his father(you can kind of put that in as God). His father is a respected man and it is said 'you are your fathers son' because he stands by his word and is honorable and righteous. He speaks against the standing religious leaders(pharisee's). He does not however die, but he does save the lives of those in Jerusalem and by risking his own life as he leads them against Saladin.

300, Now this is another fantastic movie! Very motivating, bloody and sensational fight scenes! You can say that King Leonidas is a Christ figure. He defends his homeland for the love of those in it. He is a King who died. And when he dies you'll notice that his arms are in a 'Jesus position' by the arrows that have 'nailed' him to the ground.

Commando!!! Who doesn't love a great Arnie film?!?!
His daughter is taken from him, ripped right under his loving care(sin enters and destroys the image and the relationship). He then goes on a journey to redeem(redemption) his daughter.

Brittany Tovado

You have to mention Sam and Frodo in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy because the redemption of the world literally rests in their hands.

Also, Little Foot from The Land Before Time - due to him, his entire race is saved from extinction (at least in the time frame of the movie).

And finally, Bob Crachit from A Christmas Carol, who is continually enduring hardship and yet always hopeful, and who is the ultimate undoing of Ebenezer Scrooge's black heart by his undeserved kindness. Tiny Tim probably deserves a runner up for Christ figure.


The 1st movie would be: De Javu - Denzel Washington sacrifices himself for the sake of saving lives. He is so convinced that he is the 'one' so that other people will have a second chance!
2nd - "King Arthur", he plays a Christ figure because not only does he believe in God but simply for the reason that he has a love for humanity and is not willing to let his people suffer. But instead to defend for his people and if need be, sacrifice himself for the cause.
3rd - "The Guardian" (a brilliant movie that portrays heroism and the act of sacrifice). Here Ben Randall is forced to train up other coast guards in order to save people's lives. He is the one that may sacrifice himself "So That Others May Live".

cynthia asante

Man on fire
Denzel Washington , as he makes a sacrifice for that little girl. As it was mention earlier he had to give his own life as a ransom for that little girl.

Pursuit of happiness
Will Smitt (who played Chris Gardner), also here the sacrifice is made.. through circumstance Chrs sacrifie many things(his life)in order to provide a better future for his son.

The prince of Egypt (animation movie)
Moses who save the nation of Israel, again a lot of sacrifices.

Thus one person (Jesus)who lay his life down for many...

Taijiro (TJ) Adachi

Armageddon: Harry Stamper starred by Bruce Wills let her daugher's boyfriend AJ to live back to the earth and died for saving the human beings.

Braveheart:William Wallace fought for independence of Scotland however his real motivation was to revange for his wife.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: It is a Japanese animation film which was released in 1984. Nausicaa was a girl who became one to protect human society from attacking of huge insects and reconciled between human and insects. This is the film making us think about environmental pollution due to the progression of the human technology.

X07433 Taijiro Adachi

paul tan

1) The character of Spiderman in the Spiderman series. Here is a man of two natures (Spiderman/Peter Parker) who ultimately chooses to take the responsibility that comes with his extraordinary powers. He fights evil forces and eventually triumphs over them, because of his love for humanity.

2) John Constantine from the movie Constantine. He fights evil spirits including satan himself, was condemned to hell as a result of sin and yet rises out of hell and triumphs over the evil forces terrorising humankind. The notion of redemption is critical in this movie and central to the character portrayed.

3) Bruce Willis's character in Armageddon. He gives his life to save humanity from impending doom in the ultimate act of self-sacrifice.

Kasie Carpenter

So, first film I could think of was "V for Vendetta", the character V. He faught for justice, eventually serving with his life to win freedom for the people.

From "The Chronicles of Narnia", Aslan. My favourite illustration is from 'The Magicians Nephew' where Alsan creates the world of Narnia through song. Then into 'Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' where he gives his life and because of his inocence rises again, a specific reference and illustration of Jesus. I love the Narnia series! Just great :)

And finally, i think of the film "SAving Private Ryan", the character acted by Tom Hanks. He faught to protect and save the life of a young soldier for the sake of a mother who had already lost 3 sons in the war. He was completely selfless in all his decisions and responses to all kinds of situations. He always thought of others and put first getting Private Ryan home to his Mum, even at the cost of his own life.

gordon millerick

Three Christ figures in three films. Danial in the movie, "As It is in Heaven" Danial is the healer to the community, enabling the people to raise above thier plan lives and accomplish goals. Danial bring a peace but also self conviction.

Second movie is Nania where Aslan the lion is the christ figure. Aslan has knowledge and understanding that no others have. He knows love and is love by his actions and leadership and sacrifice.

Third movie is Kenny. This Kenny has a constant loving heart, holds no malice towards others, always trying to do good and encourage others to do the same. Even the scene where he fils the sports car with effluent could be seen as washing out the crap and fertilizing the environment to grow a better attitude towards others.


The first film figure would haveto be vianne from Chocolate just to identify the bizzare and ignorant worldviews in the religious community she steps into.She brings love and change to her surroundings.

Second would have to be the girl from HAIRSPRAY..she was everything her cultural context would reject yet she stood up for love, equality, and saw the world not in its irrational segregation, but with purity and hope.She as Jesus, were an agent of change.

Lastely the african girl in 'Children of men'..this ones contraversial but i think just the fact that her enviroment that surrounded her was one of immenant death ad gloom due to the fact that noone was able to porcreate and she herself wasnt morally grounded.But the fact that she miraculously was able to fall pregnant and therefore was a symbol of 'life'. Also the way her community reacts when they see a baby in her arms and one you can just imagine when pple confronted the saviour and hope to the world is too similiar to deny.

lance davis

Interesting that as a ten year old growing up in the aftermath of the epic star wars films I developed a pet theory that films which parallel the Christian redemption story somehow will be successful in viewers eyes. Begs the question why is humanity (Christian and not) drawn to the Christian parallels as an expression of the ultimate emotion or the intuitive need or desire to be "saved" from something. Usually ourselves.

1. "The Dog Who stopped the War" (1984 Quebec)Canadian producer Rock Demers produces this great children's film in which the nearing of summer Holidays charges the children's imaginations into a spectacular icey face-off between two groups of school children who've constructed a massive snow-castle fort as the stage for their escalating fight for the ultimate proof of superiority. As spring begins the ominous melting of the snow, the children collide in one last battle of ingenuity and balls of ice but the Dog (of all characters) who has remained neutral in the whole affair (as perhaps a Dog only can) senses the evil nature of this out-of-control mob and climbs into an old escape hatch as if it was the last possible solution. The melting walls colapse, he dies, and the most evil and selfish thoughts exploding from the children come to a screaching halt in that moment.
2. "Not Quite Human II" altering the Christ figure analogy which is usually one from human condition to redemption, the story of the android character, "Chip", creates a prallel where the unhuman, literally becomes truly human through sacrifice. After a relentless struggle with always doing right while still having to pay the price, as greedy scientists instal a virus into Chip's programming that ultimately leads to his irreversible death or shut-down, in his last dying effort chip not only expresses proof of his total humanity but manages to sacrifice his own "life" to rescue the only other android sharing his human/ not human condition, "Roberta" who's builder manages to save Chip or "resurrect" him back to life as well.

3. "Harry Potter" Can't believe nobody mentioned this, but the story line which J.K. Rowling has created is so parallel it's not even funny. Chosen one, mark of evil accross his forhead, talk of his death at the end. I don't even know if he dies or not ha =)He's Fully human, as seen early on, yet somehow empowered enough to cover the cost of the evil condition his world and companions find themselves in through his completely selfless destiny.

Perhaps another blockbuster paying in due to its connection with the most powerful and "real" story ever told.

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