"Balanced and Thorough Investigation of an Ancient Miracle"
What You Need To Know:
The production quality of the re-created scenes for story-telling purposes are very good yet not excellent; however, the storyline, explanatory graphics, and interviews on location are very well done. This movie has a strong biblical, Christian worldview and invites the viewer to consider the different possibilities regarding the Exodus story. This is the first part of a two-part series, so there is a cliff hanger at the end. PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE: THE RED SEA MIRACLE – PART 1 is acceptable for all audiences.
PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE: THE RED SEA MIRACLE – PART 1, a feature-length documentary, explores the stage setting for the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea in the Book of Exodus from the viewpoint of modern-day scholars. Filmmaker Tim Mahoney’s quest to follow the patterns of evidence regarding this miracle takes him on a journey around the world to tour some of the proposed paths where Moses could have led the Israelites through the wilderness.
During his interviews with scholars, Mahoney discovers the scholarship generally falls within two models of thought: The Egyptian Model and the Hebrew Model. The Egyptian Model purports that the Exodus took place on a smaller scale while the Hebrew model posits that the Exodus took place on a larger scale, reaching across the Sinai Peninsula into Midian (which is Northwestern Saudi Arabia).
Mahoney uses an overarching outline to research the patterns of evidence for the Exodus journey including Departure Point, Direction, Desert, Detour to a Dead End, and Deep Sea. He interviews scholars from both the models to explain and theorize the possibilities on each of these points. In addition to interviewing scholars, Mahoney takes viewers us to numerous sites to examine the conditions. He also interviews additional experts to answer questions such as, “How far could people and their animals walk on a daily basis?” Dr. Temple Grandin, whose story was told in the 2010 television movie TEMPLE GRANDIN starring Claire Danes, shares her professional opinion on the logistics regarding animals.
Interspersed with the modern-day scholars, Mahoney hearkens back to the portrayal of the Exodus in the larger-than-life movie, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, produced, directed and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille. Mahoney cites the research DeMille utilized in order to make an accurate depiction of the epic story. Mahoney expresses his appreciation as a filmmaker and includes several clips from DeMille’s 1923 silent version written by Jeanie MacPherson and the 1956 drama starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE: THE RED SEA MIRACLE – PART 1 has a very good production quality. The production quality of the re-created scenes for storytelling purposes are very good but not excellent. However, the storyline, explanatory graphics, and interviews on location are all very well done. Mahoney keeps true to his word to give a balanced, non-biased approach as he searches for patterns of evidence. This movie has a strong biblical, Christian worldview and invites the viewer to consider the different possibilities regarding the Exodus story. This information-rich documentary may require more than one viewing to fully appreciate and retain all the material. The release of this documentary is well timed since access to some of the areas mentioned in the movie are slated to become more accessible for tourists. Viewers must also keep in mind that this is the first part of a two-part series, so there is a cliff hanger at the end. PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE: THE RED SEA MIRACLE – PART 1 is acceptable for all audiences, though children of junior high age or younger may not connect with the high scholarly level.