Crossposted From Under the Fig Tree
For decades now, Cecil B. DeMille’s cinematic extravaganza, “The Ten Commandments,” has held pride of place on television screens across America, its timing sandwiched between Pesach and Easter.
An invented holiday tradition if ever there was one, the annual broadcast of a nearly four hour film given over to the story of the ancient Israelites and their search for freedom puzzles as well as delights me.
I can well understand the film’s connection to Pesach, which, after all, commemorates the Exodus and exhorts its celebrants to remember. The movie version may even enhance the process of remembering, rendering the ancient story vivid and alive. As one movie-goer put it, way back when, “the story of Israel had laid frozen in hieroglyphics, manuscripts and books.” But thanks to DeMille, it has “thawed into something colorful.”