"Lost in the Desert of Non-Belief"
What You Need To Know:
LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT has great cinematography and good acting. The family drama and most of the debate between Jesus and the Devil are compelling. However, the ending to the family’s story is disappointing and frustrating. It’s way too open-ended and confusing. Also, a couple lines of dialogue don’t match the biblical accounts of Jesus Christ’s teachings and are even heretical. Finally, a brief, cryptic crucifixion and burial scene suggest Christianity is a lie. So, LAST DAYS IN THE DESERTS end up being an abhorrent, empty, pointless piece of atheist propaganda.
(HHH, AbAbAb, Pa, FR, L, V, S, NN, A, MM) Very strong humanist, Anti-Christian worldview that imagines a real conversation between Jesus and the Devil that seems to acknowledge some Christian doctrine, but eventually suggests Christianity and its Jewish monotheism are just a lie, plus a reference to God having made and remade the world countless times, which is a Hindu concept, not a Jewish or a Christian one; an “h” word is uttered, and Jesus laughs when a young man accidentally passes gas; a deadly accident with some blood occurs, and Jesus dreams of drowning and being chased by wolves; Jesus is tempted by the Devil with another man’s wife; woman exposes her breasts in a nightmare scene that turns out to be a temptation of the Devil, but the movie’s ending suggests Jesus is a mere man so (looking back in hindsight) this scene can be scene as Jesus himself lusting after the woman, but this remains a possible interpretation of the scene, not a definite one; wine is drunk; no smoking or drugs; and, Jesus advises young man to “Love God and love life” (the first part is good but the second part is vacuous), the Devil tempts Jesus and sometimes mocks him, conflict between an earthly father and son, and son disobeys command from his father.
LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT shows Jesus at the end of his struggles with the Devil in the wilderness, with Jesus and Satan happening on a small family and getting involved in their conflicts and tragic circumstances. Despite some great cinematography and good acting, LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT has a dramatically anti-climactic, disappointing, unsatisfying ending that also contains an overt, abhorrent suggestion that basic Christian doctrines, specifically the physical resurrection of Jesus, are a lie.
The movie opens with Jesus making His way out of the desert with the Devil still tempting Him. Soon, they come upon a small family, with a sickly mother, who seems to be dying, a hard-working father and a son who wants to leave his desert home and seek his fortune in Jerusalem. Jesus takes pity on the family and tries to help them, while the Devil, who appears in the guise of Jesus mocks and goads Jesus. Eventually, things come to a head, and Jesus tries to help the father and son mine some valuable jasper stone, which becomes a deadly undertaking.
Despite some great cinematography and good acting, LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT has a dramatically anti-climactic, disappointing, unsatisfying ending. The drama of the family and most of the debate between Jesus and the Devil are compelling. However, the ending to the family’s story is disappointing and frustrating. It’s way too open-ended and confusing. At one point, Jesus just tells the boy to “love God and love life.” There was no “love thy neighbor,” or any of Christ’s other moral teachings, much less any theological teachings beyond loving God.
Although Jesus is portrayed as a good man, there are some other problems with the movie’s depiction of Jesus as well as its depiction of the Devil. During the debates between Jesus and the Devil, references are made to God the Father and to Jesus being God’s son. However, in one scene, Jesus actually asks the Devil to tell him what God is like and what Heaven is like. This is nothing but heresy. It’s also contradictory, because Jesus would know that answer, especially considering the movie’s other pieces of dialogue seeming to acknowledge Jesus is the unique Son of God. Secondly, in another line of dialogue, the Devil says God has “remade” the world many times over. This is a Hindu or New Age concept, not a Jewish or Christian one, so Bible-believing Jews and Christians should find it offensive and perplexing. Finally, at the end of the movie, there’s a crucifixion scene where Jesus appears to die on the Cross alone, with no people around Him and without any words spoken by Him. This scene is followed by an apparent burial scene that’s completely different from the biblical accounts. Thus, the movie totally contradicts the earlier dialogue referring to Jesus being the unique Son of God. Even worse, it overtly suggests that Christianity is a fabrication.
All in all, considering the fine cinematography and the good performances, this movie seems like a waste of time artistically speaking and an Anti-Christian propaganda piece as well. There are a few more problems with the movie and its script, but they are more like minor annoyances. So, it’s not worth wasting time discussing them. Ultimately, LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT is just an obnoxious piece of anti-Christ propaganda.