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Recent films from “The Passion of the Christ” to the fictional “Da Vinci Code” may have reignited the public’s interest in matters of faith, but a newly completed movie could go far beyond the impact of both blockbusters, potentially verifying the historical accuracy of much of the Bible.
The two-hour feature documentary titled “Exodus” has been in the making for five years, and is expected to be released in the spring of 2007.
It covers events recorded in the books of Genesis and Exodus, beginning with the exploits of Joseph, the son of Jacob who was betrayed by his brothers into slavery but eventually became the second most powerful man in the known world, predicting seven years of famine in Egypt. It then moves on to biblical accounts involving Moses, the plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and eventually Mount Sinai, where God is said to have given the Ten Commandments to the ancient Israelites.
“‘The Da Vinci Code’ is about fiction. We talk about reality,” said Dr. Lennart Moller, a Swedish DNA researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who stars in the film.
Lennart Moller stands atop the traditional site for Mt. Sinai in Egypt. In his new film, ‘Exodus,’ Moller makes the case that this location is not the biblical site where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, but that the real location is a heavily guarded mountain in Saudi Arabia (Mahoney Media)
The film not only recounts what’s written in Scripture, but goes on a multinational mission to document the evidence for the events recorded in Scripture.
“We have been at places no one else has ever been. We have found things no one else has ever found,” Moller told WND.
Some believe this item photographed at the bottom of the Red Sea is a chariot wheel that chased Moses
Moller, who authored “The Exodus Case,” has been on a 10-year study, even looking into claims of ancient Egyptian chariot wheels found at the bottom of the Red Sea, but notes the claims of chariot wheels are just the beginning.
“There are much more sensational finds on land,” he said.
Appearing in the film with Moller is producer Tim Mahoney of the Mahoney Media Group in Minneapolis. He acts as sort of an “everyman” as he calls it, asking questions of Moller that the typical person on the street might have about the physical evidence discovered.
Mahoney says even though the film is a documentary, it has a lot more entertainment than typical TV documentaries, including 3-D animation and a symphony and choir recorded in Surround Sound in Budapest, Hungary.
Walls of water split the Red Sea as depicted in the 1956 color version of ‘The Ten Commandments’ (Paramount Pictures)
They’ve even secured rights from the family of late director Cecil B. DeMille to show some footage from the original black-and-white version of “The Ten Commandments.”
Already the new film is being screened to select audiences, many of whom have no previous knowledge of the Bible.
“I’ve shown it to rabbis and pagans, and I’ve gotten excellent reviews from both,” said Mahoney.
Mahoney calls it the “most involved investigation” ever taken into the story of the Exodus, noting many other researchers seem to have little interest in determining the veracity of the biblical text.
“What we found out is that this subject is off-limits in academia. There’s not really an honest investigation into it,” he said. “They tend to be biased that it didn’t happen. This [film] is an unbiased look at the history and geography.”
Tim Mahoney and film crew shoot Lennart Moller on Saheil Island in southern Egypt standing in front of the ‘Joseph Stone’ that records a time of 7 years of famine (Mahoney Media)
Among the items featured in the film include finding the actual route the Israelites took when they were freed from slavery in Egypt and crossed the Red Sea.
While some scholars have alleged the Israelites crossed a “sea of reeds” and not the Red Sea, recent evidence suggests there was an actual crossing of the sea, beginning at a beachhead in Nuweiba, Egypt, and moving across the Gulf of Aqaba into Saudi Arabia on the other side.
It is there Mahoney and Moller believe is the real location of Mount Sinai.
“It is a military-protected area with machine-gun guards,” said Mahoney.
When asked the Saudi government’s rationale in closely guarding a mountain in the middle of nowhere, Mahoney replied, “Because it’s an archaeological site that they don’t want people to get to.”
Moller believes the big movie companies have been “too scared” to take on this project because they consider the risks too high in the turbulent Middle East.
Producers are now in the courting stage with different companies interested in distributing and marketing the film.