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.


SPOILER: Plot details or story follow.

The film begins with the portrayal of the Massacre of the Innocents. The remainder portrays the annunciation and nativity of Jesus to explain why King Herod ordered the brutality.

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.

Spoilers end here.


Keisha Castle-HughesMary
Oscar IsaacJoseph
Hiam AbbassAnna
Shaun ToubJoaquim
Ciarán HindsHerod
Shohreh AghdashlooElizabeth
Stanley TownsendZechariah
Alexander SiddigThe Angel Gabriel
Nadim SawalhaMelchior
Eriq EbouaneyBalthasar
Stefan KaliphaGaspar
Alessandro GiuggioliAntipas
Farida OuchaniRuth
Saïd AmadisTero
Maria Giovanna Donzelli
Francesca Piliero
Mary's Friends
Serge FeuillardEldest Priest
Kais NashifBenjamin
Andy Lucas
Tomer Sisley
Tax Collectors
Jeffery KissoonHerod's Architect
Lucia ZottiElizabeth's Aunt
Monica ContiniElizabeth's Cousin
Paola SotgiuMidwife
Gabrielle ScharnitzkyPalm Reader
Stewart ScudamoreSimeon
Chiara Di PedeGirl (Taken By Soldiers)
Zinedine SoualemGirl's Father
Luciana Filomena PaolicelliGirl's Mother
Damir TodorovicSoldier at Collection
Matt PatresiSentry Soldier
Ted RusoffOld Shepherd
Sami SamirThief
Yvonne Brulator SciòThief's Accomplice
Andrea Bruschi
Jean-Claude Breitman-Deret
Angela Iurilli
Francesco Mortoccia
Alessandro Piscitelli
Maria DiMonte
Emilio Adrisani
Emilia Fortunato
Bethlehem Townsperple
Ilaria Cangalosi (uncredited)Blacksmith's wife
Shelby Young (voice; uncredited)Naomi

External links

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Pictures Christmas in ConnecticutGremlinsLethal WeaponNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationJack FrostNational Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island AdventureThe Polar ExpressKiss Kiss Bang BangThe Year Without a Santa ClausFred Claus
New Line Cinema ElfThe Nativity StoryFour ChristmasesA Very Harold & Kumar 3D ChristmasThe Conjuring 2Shazam!
Blue Ribbon Content A Christmas Story 2A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish
Live-action television episodes
Friends and Joey "The One With Phoebe's Dad" • "The One Where Rachel Quits" • "The One With the Girl from Poughkeepsie" • "The One With the Inappropriate Sister" • "The One With the Routine" • "The One With the Holiday Armadillo" • "The One With the Creepy Holiday Card" • "The One With Christmas in Tulsa" • "Joey and the Plot Twist" • "Joey and the Christmas Party"
DC Comics "Season's Greedings" • "Home is Where the Hurt Is" • "Twas the Night Before Mxymas" • "Lexmas" • "Gemini" • "Year's End" • "Three Ghosts"
Other shows "A Semi-Merry Christmas" • "Mel, the Magi" • "Mel's Christmas Carol" • "'Tis the Season to Be Jealous" • "A Christmas Story" (Growing Pains) • "A Christmas Story" (Just the Ten of Us) • "Santa on the Lam" • "Miracle on Elm Street" • "The Christmas Show" • "Fa La La La Laagghh!" • "The Man Who Canceled Christmas" • "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" • "Deck the Malls" • "Christmas Day-Ja Vu" • "A Country Christmas" • "How the Finch Stole Christmas" • "Meet the Cuban Parents" • "Christmas Punch" • "A Clear and Presentless Danger" • "George Is Being Elfish and Christ-Misses His Family" • "Santa's Secret Stuff" • "A Very Supernatural Christmas" • "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" • "Christmas" (The Middle) • "It's Beginning to Stink a Lot Like Christmas" • "The Maternal Congruence" • "Jolly Red Elf" • "The World Ain't Over 'Till It's Over" • "The Santa Simulation" • "Give Santa a Tail-Hole" • "Home for Christmas" • "Jingle Bell Glock"
Animated productions
Looney Tunes and related shows The Shanty Where Santy Claus LivesBedtime for SnifflesGift WrappedBugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales • "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special" • "'Twas the Day Before Christmas" • "Jingle Boo" • "The Great Wakkorotti: The Holiday Concert" • "A Christmas Plotz" • "Little Drummer Warners" • "No Time for Christmas" • "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas" • "It Happened One Night Before Christmas" • "In Arms Way" • "The Twelve Days of Christmas" • Christmas Eve with Yakko, Wakko & Dot • "Noel" • "The Christmas Tree" • "The Banks of the Delaware River" • "Feather Christmas" • "Yule Be Sorry" • "Christmas in July" • Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas • "A Christmas Carol" • "Tis the Seasoning" • "Winter Blunderland" • "The Legend of Burrito Monday"
DC Comics "Christmas With the Joker" • "Holiday Knights" • "Frozen Out" • "Comfort and Joy" • "Storybook Holiday" • "Invasion of the Secret Santas!" • "Second Christmas" • "The True Meaning of Christmas" • "Halloween v Christmas" • "Teen Titans Save Christmas" • "Beast Boy on a Shelf"
Hanna-Barbera co-productions "A Dickens of a Christmas" • A Scooby-Doo! Christmas • "Ho Ho Horrors" • Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker TaleScooby-Doo! Haunted HolidaysTom and Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers • "The Plight Before Christmas" • "Scary Christmas" • "Scroogey Doo" • "It's a Wacky Life" • "Dashing Thru the Snow" • "Signed, Sealed and Wacky"
Other cartoons "Yuletide and Redtide" • A Cool Like That Christmas • "Santa Mask" • The Polar Express • "The Match Before Xmas" • A Miser Brothers' Christmas • "Da Grinchy Code / Duck" • "FROST / Undercover Claus" • "Fantastic Four Christmases / Red and White Collar" • Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas • "Christmas in Oz" • "Top of the Naughty List"
Have Yourself a Looney Tunes ChristmasA Hip-Hopera ChristmasMerry Christmas: Animaniacs & Looney TunesThe Looney Tunes Kwazy ChristmasA Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas
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