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Award-winning ‘Parable’ Available from EcuFilm

 


Feb. 24, 2004

Contact: Carol Clark
(615) 742-5478
e-mail:
cclark@umcom.org

Award-winning ‘Parable’ Available from EcuFilm;
Passion Video Dates to 1964 New York World’s Fair

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—“Parable,” an award-winning film produced for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, is being made available on VHS and DVD by EcuFilm, the ecumenical media distribution service of United Methodist Communications.

The allegorical film portrays the Passion of Jesus through the story of a circus clown who both comforts his fellow performers and disrupts their lives. In true mime fashion, “Parable” has no actor dialogue or subtitles, although it includes a musical track.

The re-release of the 22-minute art film in its 40th anniversary year is a response to continuing requests received by EcuFilm from people interested in showing it in their churches, said the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications.


“We are glad to have obtained the rights to this ground-breaking art film in time to offer it for use in churches during Easter,” Hollon said. “Although its message about the role of goodness in the world is timeless, it has been largely unavailable for the past 30 years,” he added.

Set in authentic circus surroundings from the Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wis., “Parable” opens to a black screen and a voice-over that explains the context of the film: “In the Gospels, Jesus teaches us by using parables. Through them, comes God’s message in simple story form.”

Produced by a predecessor organization of the Council of Churches of the City of New York, “Parable” debuted at the fair’s Protestant and Orthodox Center in May 1964. Although a review by Newsweek soon after deemed it “very probably the best film at the fair,” Rolf Forsberg’s passion play generated controversy even before its initial screening.

It had the support of most of the denominational leaders exhibiting at the Protestant and Orthodox Center, but World’s Fair president Robert Moses objected to its showing, and two members of the council’s steering committee resigned in agreement with Moses.

However, viewers who were allowed to vote on its fate approved three-to-one its continued showing, and it became one of the fair’s most popular attractions.

“Parable” went on to win awards including the 1966 Religious Film Award of the National Catholic Theatre Conference, along with honors at the 1966 Cannes, Venice and Edinburgh film festivals.
 
It is available from EcuFilm for $44.95 (DVD) and $39.95 (VHS), toll-free (888) 346-3862; fax (615) 742-5499; online
; or by mail at 810 12th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37203. A study guide is included.

EcuFilm, a service of United Methodist Communications, serves an ecumenical community including American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., Catholic Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of the Brethren, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), The United Church of Canada, United Church of Christ and The United Methodist Church.

 

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