USA - 2019
8 episodes totaling 365 minutes
App for mobile phone and tablets
Bradon Potter, Elizabeth Tabish, Erick Avari, George Harrison Xanthis, Janus Dardaris, Jasmine Guillen, Jonathan Roumie, Kirk B.R. Woller, Lara Silva, Nick Shakoour, Noah James, Paras Patel, Shahar Isaac, Vanessa DeSilvio
Dallas Jenkins, Ryan Swanson, Tyler Thompson
JOSÉ M. GARCÍA PELEGRÍN
MARCH 24, 2021
The rise of series for platforms now also reaches the genre of Sacred History. The Chosen is the first series of several seasons on the public life of Jesus. The North American production, with an international cast, narrates from the point of view of the people who surround the Messiah; hence its title.
The VidAngel production company - related to evangelical Protestantism - became known as a provider of streaming services that allow you to omit any content in bad taste. The script and direction of The Chosen were entrusted to Dallas Jenkins, who had already produced for his evangelical community the short The Shepherd, about the birth of Jesus from the point of view of a pastor. To ensure fidelity to the Gospels and historical context, the series is counseled by a Catholic priest, a Protestant pastor, and a rabbi. Dallas Jenkins notes, "We simply want to bring the Bible to viewers without interpreting or creating anything new."
Faithfulness to the Scriptures is manifested in the literal reproduction of dialogues and scenes. The script shows special mastery in the fusion of literal evangelical passages with additions of fiction. However, it has to fill in certain "gaps" in relation to the character of some well-known characters - well achieved in the case of Simón Pedro, Nicodemus or María Magdalena; less accomplished in that of Mateo and especially in that of the Virgin Mary. Or even give life to characters that are barely mentioned in the Gospels, such as Salomé and Zebedeo, the parents of Juan and Santiago; and mainly of Pedro's wife, who is given the significant name of Eden and who is one of the most interesting figures of this first season. The scene in which Jesus reveals his role in the Redemption, his own vocation, is one of the most emotional moments in The Chosen. Among the followers of the series, the third chapter is especially popular, in which Jesus meets a group of children.
Here, as in many other moments, a remarkable dose of humor is appreciated, which counterpoints scenes charged with emotion and helps to show the humanity of Jesus; In this sense, the sobriety, the naturalness with which Jesus works miracles also stands out. The Catholic Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus, underlines the help of prayer for his role: “Praying the rosary gives me peace. Playing Jesus is a great honor not only for my career, but for my life ”.
The Chosen is not available on the usual platforms, but through an Apple or Android app for mobile phones or tablets. Here the series is offered in several languages (Spanish is a kind of koine understandable in different Spanish-speaking countries) and with subtitles in more than 30 languages. From the app there is the possibility of connecting it to a television screen.
The series is also available, in English with English subtitles, on YouTube; and without subtitles, on the producer's website.
The first season can be viewed for free, although the app shows repeated calls to financially support the filming. The Chosen was financed thanks to crowdfunding. In fact, the series has set the record for donation funding (for the first season, more than 19,000 people donated a total of $ 10 million). The second season will be released shortly and the third is already being financed. Despite the technical complications that can alienate it from the audience less accustomed to using apps, the series has seen close to 90 million views in 142 countries. And it is that, even with those barriers, it is a production that is worth it.