The Nativity Story is a 2006 drama film starring Keisha Castle-Hughes and Shohreh Aghdashloo. Filming began on May 1, 2006 in Matera, Italy and in Morocco. New Line Cinema released it on December 1, 2006 in the United States and one week later on December 8 in the European Union. The film made history as being the first film ever to stage its world premiere in the Vatican City.
Teenage Mary, betrothed to marry Joseph of Judea, is spoken to by God and told that she is to deliver His child and call him Jesus. Mary then goes to stay with her cousin, Elizabeth, for the harvest, when she witnesses the birth of John the Baptist to Elizabeth, who is past child bearing age, and her husband, Zachariah. Mary returns from the visit pregnant, to the shock of Joseph and her parents. Mary is accused of fornication, for which, if she is found guilty, she could be stoned to death in a public execution. At first Joseph does not believe Mary's explanation that she was visited by an angel, and that she has broken no vow of chastity. He resolves to quietly divorce her, but before he acts on this plan, he is visited by the very same angel. Joseph then believes Mary, and promises to marry her.
Meanwhile, Herod has demanded that every man and his family must return to his place of birth for the census. For Joseph, as a direct descendant of King David, this involves a 110 kilometer trip across rocky terrain from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the place of his birth. Such a trip (with Mary on a donkey also carrying supplies, and given the terrain) would likely have taken several weeks. When they reach Bethlehem, Mary goes into labor. Joseph frantically seeks a place for them to stay, but there is no room in any inn or home (thanks in part to the census). At the last minute, an innkeeper offers his stable for shelter.
While Mary's story is being told, a concurrent plot line features the travels of the three Magi, Gaspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar, who had previously discovered that three planets will align to form a great star. This Star of Bethlehem appears before the Magi, after a visit by the angel Gabriel. The Magi eventually visit Herod and tell him that a King of the Jews has been born. Herod considers himself to be King of the Jews; thus, he asks them to journey to the East and pay a visit to the newborn Jesus, and report the location back to Herod under the pretense that he, too, would like to worship him. Unbeknownst to Mary and Joseph, the Magi show up at the stable in which the family is staying, and present Jesus with the well-known gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
As instructed by the angel, the Magi do not return to Herod, but return to their origin via a different route. King Herod realizes that the wise men have defied him, and in retribution demands the murder of every boy in Bethlehem up to the age of two. Joseph is warned in a dream of the danger and flees with Mary and Jesus to Egypt.
|Alexander Siddig||The Angel Gabriel|
|Maria Giovanna Donzelli|
|Serge Feuillard||Eldest Priest|
|Jeffery Kissoon||Herod's Architect|
|Lucia Zotti||Elizabeth's Aunt|
|Monica Contini||Elizabeth's Cousin|
|Gabrielle Scharnitzky||Palm Reader|
|Chiara Di Pede||Girl (Taken By Soldiers)|
|Zinedine Soualem||Girl's Father|
|Luciana Filomena Paolicelli||Girl's Mother|
|Damir Todorovic||Soldier at Collection|
|Matt Patresi||Sentry Soldier|
|Ted Rusoff||Old Shepherd|
|Yvonne Brulator Sciò||Thief's Accomplice|
|Ilaria Cangalosi (uncredited)||Blacksmith's wife|
|Shelby Young (voice; uncredited)||Naomi|
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