Limited Theatrical Release – “40 Nights” is the first of the “Quest Trilogy,” which features themes of sacrifice and faith. These films focus on lesser-known events from the biblical age. The first film examines the pre-ministry life of Jesus (DJ Perry), starting with his baptism by John the Baptist (Terry Jernigan). From there, Jesus embarks on his self-exploration journey into the wilderness for 40 nights, where the Devil tempts Jesus three times in various forms. Audiences will be treated to a stronger portrayal of Jesus that offers glimpses into his childhood and family upbringing. This film portrays Jesus as a person who invokes empathy and sheds light on the true magnitude of his sacrifice for mankind.
“Forty Nights” is a loose and fictional prequel to “Chasing the Star” and begins with the baptism of Jesus. Soon after, Jesus turns to the desert to face thirst, hunger and worse. Satan first appears as a handsome teenager, one of his many forms, and unsuccessfully presents Him with the bodily temptation of food and drink. Satan vanishes for a while, and through flashbacks, we learn of Jesus’ dire love for people as He reflects on various compassionate interactions.Unabated, Satan, played brilliantly by Taymour Ghazi, taunts and reminds Jesus of a vicious future, overlaying his taunts with vivid picture of man’s degenerate, underserving nature. Still Jesus loves. When Jesus finds and befriends a little lost lamb, we see the care and companionship, but unfortunately, when it wanders and is lost, Satan quickly states a taste for roasted lamb. Satan becomes a mouthpiece for the usual objections to God, and these build upon Jesus’ bodily weakness. At one point, Jesus asks the Father, “Are We wrong?” (He has a loud conversation with himself in the desert.) But after ultimately rejecting Satan, Jesus is attended by Gabriel and states He is at peace with what is to come. All ages will enjoy this well presented family faith film, although older children will be more understanding of the philosophical elements. Spoiler alert: The lamb comes back! “Forty Nights” telling of love conquering all is a welcome and needed Christian worldview message.