The Book of Genesis [2016] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

As Jochebed and her children hide from the Egyptian soldiers, she recounts the story of her people so far and the struggles they have gone through.  She remembers Adam, Eve, Abel, Cain, Noah, Abram, Sarai, Jacob, Leah, and Rachel and how they went wrong and how God took care of them.  Jochebed wrestles with the truth that God will take care of her and her family too, no matter what odds are facing her.


Production Quality (2.5 points)

It’s obvious that a good amount of time and resources were spent on this production.  Cinematography is clearly professional and well-thought-out, including great camera work and crisp video quality.  Sets and locations are also highly professional and enhance the film.  Audio quality is good and the soundtrack is respectable and intriguing.  The only minor issue to raise here is some small editing issues, including random cuts and transitions that confuse the audience.  However, this is a very high quality production and we can’t wait to see what else Austin Ridge Bible Church produces in the future.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

Unfortunately, this is where the positivity ends.  As Jochebed constantly narrates through cryptic monologues, the plot skips all over Genesis without settling down on a coherent thought.  To be titled after to first book of the Bible, there is actually very little true Biblical content and easily a fourth of the film relates to the book of Exodus.  While the psychological elements are somewhat creative, there is no continuity and the overall feel of the storyline is overly artistic and embellished.  Taking on such a large amount of content is ambitious but misguided.  There is no way to understand the characters presented as they are largely silent; everything relies too much on Jochebed’s riddles and musings.  Overall, this is a disappointingly wasted idea can could have gone somewhere but never found the path home.

Acting Quality (0 points)

The casting job falls into the trap many Biblical films fall into.  Not only are there some issues with cultural authenticity (though not full British), but the cast members seem to be purposely acting mysterious.  Their emotions are ethereal and abstract and line delivery is sometimes off.  It’s difficult to put your finger on, but there are not many positive qualities to highlight here.  A stronger cast would have made a difference for this film.


When you’re first starting out with movies, it’s essential to have quality production, which is what The Book of Genesis has.  However, it’s not clear that Austin Ridge Bible Church knew what they were doing with this plot idea.  There is an element of creativity here that could be drawn out by the right team, but this movie just doesn’t make the mark.  When first writing a plot, it’s best to start out small and grow from there, not start out with a big idea that might not pan out.  Maybe next time Austin Ridge Bible Church will find their way to the promised land, because they certainly have the potential to do so.


Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points


2 thoughts on “The Book of Genesis [2016] (Movie Review)

  1. Re: The Book of Genesis (2016)
    This is a unique movie with great photography, and rather sparse dialog, both of which are pluses in my book. The story holds fairly close to the Biblical narrative, taking a few inconsequential liberties with the story line. The acting was good across the board, but there were no standouts. For me at least, the movie was very emotional in places. The sets were rather spartan, and rustic. No attempt was made to replicate ancient Middle Eastern buildings or wardrobe. This was a little bit of a distraction at first, but it quickly passed. The only real objection I had with the movie was that it did not tell the story chronologically, and jumped back and forth between the various sub-plots and characters of the book. This was manageable, however. Genesis is a movie that is well worth your time.


  2. As I attempted to watch this film it became clear that I could not even begin to navigate the swirling seas of this overly mysterious plot line, so I gave up halfway through. From the little girl calling for her mother by the riverside(!?) as the world swirled around her, the young woman running around with a baby in her arms as suspenseful music blared in the background, the old man bathing in the local river/spring/lake/pond, and many more confusing scenes, it was impossible to discover what was happening in this plot. What is the point of a plot that is too ‘mystical’ for the average audience to decipher? I think that this producer/writer had some good ideas, but they need to reduce the artistic qualities to a palatable level. Currently they are making films that are so artistic that they are impossible for today’s audience, including me, to comprehend.


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