Directed by Philippe Baron • Documentary • 2010 • 52 minutes
The first cinematic depiction of the life of Jesus, Sidney Olcott's 1912 film FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS is the only movie ever shot in the places described by the New Testament. The fourth feature-length film release in the history of cinema, it was a great commercial success. Nevertheless, it has been largely forgotten by history.
In FIRST PASSION, documentarian Philippe Baron follows in the footsteps of this little known film director. He tracks the production of Olcott's epic from the filming in Palestine in to its release in New York. By re-examining this curious and fascinating cinematic artifact, Baron brings viewers back to the beginnings of cinema, examining the relationship between documentary and fiction, between director and crew, and betweem cinema and religion.