Host a screening of the powerful '40 Nights' at or near your ministry location nationwide
'The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
'Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against the stone.' ”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” - Matthew 4:1-7
A new feature film from Lansing, Michigan-based Collective Development Incorporated, '40 Nights,' is a quietly captivating, powerful and gritty, yet at the same time remarkably beautiful account of Jesus' time in the wilderness. Right after 'Yeshua' is baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, yet prior to his ministry.
Starring DJ Perry (Ashes of Eden, Bestseller) as Jesus of Nazareth; Taymour Ghazi (G.P.S., Criminal Minds) as the Devil as a Man; Rance Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Nebraska) as the Devil as an Old Man; and, Dan Haggerty (Grizzly Adams) as Yahweh, '40 Nights' was filmed entirely on location in Yuma, Arizona.
Written by Mr. Perry and directed by former Christian missionary Jesse Low, '40 Nights' is deliberately paced, sparely imagined and suffused with the darkness of Satan's numerous 'visits of temptation,' complete with unrelenting ridicule and mocking. As Jesus the man, and his flesh, is challenged by the delirium brought about by hunger, dehydration and the overall physical harshness via the scorching Judean desert and mountains, his soul and mindseye at times flashes back to his boyhood experiences and his first encounter with Lucifer.
While Jesus struggles in the unforgiving wilderness during this brief chapter of his life, and the film carries a stunning, appropriate cinematic grittiness through the lense of Director of Photography Jesse Aragon, the story is nonetheless lucid and accessible to a wide demographic. Christians and non- believers alike – and every one of every faith and spirituality in between - will appreciate and gravitate to the interwoven secular themes of empathy, compassion and sacrifice.
With tremendous care and tact, yet maintaining a scrupulous focus on Jesus' humanity as well as his divinity, '40 Nights' has broad emotional range and appeal. From hushed, austere and surprisingly gentle treatment of these mortal moments of the Son of God's journey on Earth, the film also employs gripping revelations that speak to human frailty. Those moments where deprivation and temptation severely challenge him. Culminating in appeals where Jesus, near his physical and spiritual breaking point, cries out to the Heavens (knowing full-well there are more chapters to be written in his earthly being), “Father, where are you? I'm ready Father!”
Everything, of course, revolves around the 'Good versus Evil' aspects of Jesus and Satan's (at three age stages) confrontations.
Satan comes to Jesus with a controlled, intimidating sense of darkness and forboding that is more chilling than any of today's horror film characters. The Prince of Darkness, whether he is a figment of a tortured imagination, effectively capturing the war raging within Yeshua, or a genuinely supernatural being, is left for each audience member to discern.
While the Devil is clear that he is targeting Yeshua's soul through temptations of flesh and blood, he equally and relentlessly mocks the Christ through terse exchanges, some that reveal the Demon is not without flickers of his own insecurities and vulnerability. Most notably through his dismissive and denouncing retorts that Jesus is “just another false prophet,” and belittling God the Father as a distant, fickle and selfish entity, more prideful of the beauty of his own creation than with his one and only Son.
Yet others whom Jesus encounters on his journey of temptation, perseverance and faith, including a stray lamb he aptly names 'Moses,' as well as the shepherd boy who is searching for his missing babe (and “has heard of Jesus of Nazareth”), bring spiritual balance and tremendous power to life on the screen in this story from the book of Matthew.
One thing is certain in the strikingly simple and intuitive '40 Nights,' the story is open for each audience member to interpret and understand in his or her own way. But ever mindful of the age-old notion of 'Self' - with its wants and desires – and that those earthly tangibles can at times be one's own greatest enemy.
'40 Nights' is a faith-based film and will be released nationally in early spring 2016 by Lightworx Entertainment www.lightworxentertainment.com, which is led by its Christian founder Randy Maricle, who for more than 20 years has been marketing and selling faith-based films.
Mr. Maricle led the marketing of the recent faith-based film and smash box office success, 'God's Not Dead.'
The production company for '40 Nights' (the first of a 3-film series with Lightworx Entertainment)
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Collective Development Inc.