A controversial new documentary, following in the footsteps of the popular, if heretical, “The Da Vinci Code,” asks the brazen question: “What if the greatest story ever told was a lie?”
Coming to theaters later this month, “Bloodline” seeks to prove the conspiracy tale that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a child whose bloodline continues today.
Ben Hammott, an English adventurer, claims to have discovered in southwest France a remote tomb and relics from Jerusalem, dated back to the first century. The discovery provides the subject matter for this new film about what producers say is “the Church’s best kept secret.”
The findings include a pottery cup and an ointment vase that were reportedly used at the alleged marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
The British Museum and Gabriel Barkay of Bar Ilan University in Jerusalem have analyzed the items.
“It is possible that artifacts excavated by the Templars on Temple Mount would find a way to Europe,” said Barkay. “The finds in this chest are really intriguing and it is really something that inflames the imagination.”
The tomb contained a mummified corpse lying beneath a shroud with a red cross, the symbol of the Knights Templar, a medieval Christian military order. The documentary shows that a DNA test revealed that the corpse is of Middle Eastern origin.
According to the documentary, the tomb was discovered because of information found in a bundle of papers, hidden by a French priest at the end of the 19th century. The papers explained that he discovered the tomb and it led to him to break from his Catholic faith.
“The resurrection of Jesus was a trick, it was Mary Magdalene who took his body from his tomb,” the priest said. “Later, the body of Jesus was discovered by the Templars and then hidden three times. Not in Jerusalem. The Tomb is here. Parts of the body are safe.”
Bloodline, the film documenting the finding of these artifacts, premieres May 9 at the Village East Cinema in New York City, and then on May 16 at the Laemmle Sunset Five Cinema in Los Angeles before a nationwide release later this month.
The film is a documentation of a three-year-long investigation by Bruce Burgess, an English filmmaker, and Rene Barnett, his American producer, into the conspiracy involved in Dan Brown’s book and the secret society known as Prior Sion that allegedly is behind it all.
“It is not a history lesson, nor a theological debate, overlaid with biblical re-creations,” says Burgess. “There have been dozens of those on television already. This is my raw, and very personal journey to get closer to the truth about a subject that has huge implications for us all.”
Barnett explained the goal in making the documentary was to determine if there was any truth to the story.
“We set out to see if evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and came to France really did exist, and whether this Priory of Sion was, in fact, real, or just a hoax,” said Barnett. “What we ultimately found was both shocking and controversial.”
The book “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” published in 1982, first drew attention to the conspiracy theory before Brown’s bestseller. It served at the inspiration behind Hammot’s exploration.