Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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THE BODY


Year: 2001
USA: Lions Gate Films
UK: Metrodome
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Olivia Williams, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel, Jason Flemyng, Mohammed Bakri, Yoav Dekelbaum, Makram Khoury, Sami Samir, John Wood, Vernon Dobtcheff, Ian McNeice
Director: Jonas McCord
Countries: Israel / USA
USA: 100 mins
UK: 108 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for some violent sequences and brief language
UK Certificate: 12 contains one use of strong language, and mild violence
USA Release Date: 20 April 2001 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 9 November 2001

Synopsis

At the dawn of the new millennium, in the cradle of faith that is Jerusalem, two seemingly mismatched people from different worlds and cultures -- Vatican-appointed Jesuit priest Matt Gutierrez (Antonio Banderas) and Israeli archaeologist Sharon Golban (Olivia Williams) -- make a tenuous alliance to investigate a find that not only threatens the very foundations of western religion, but also blows apart the region's fragile peace.

Behind a simple hardware store on Hanevi'im Street, Sharon has discovered an ancient skeleton in a rich man's tomb. Coloration on the wrist and leg bones indicate that the cause of death was the Roman method of executing criminals and enemies of the state, crucifixion. A gold coin found in the tomb bears the markings of Roman governor Pontius Pilate. And there are other signs which might corroborate Biblical descriptions of the death of the first century Judean rabbi Yeshu Ben Yosef... better known to our world as Jesus, son of Joseph.

Now, against increasingly difficult odds placed in their path by those locked in the power struggle for this transcendently beautiful but eternally troubled part of the world - politicians, clerics, religious extremists and those using terror as a means to an end - Matt, a man of faith and Sharon, a woman of science, find their beliefs and identities tested while risking their lives to penetrate the truth of this epochal discovery.

Set against the turbulent physical and political backdrops of the Middle East and Rome, THE BODY is an international thriller that also addresses humanity's spiritual yearnings at this unique moment in time, as another century turns and people look to the past as a guide for the future. The film brings together a remarkable assemblage of talent both in front of and behind the camera, with the cast headed by Antonio Banderas, acclaimed star of films ranging from his highly original collaborations with director Pedro Almodovar in his native Spain to leading roles in such films as THE MASK OF ZORRO and EVITA; and Olivia Williams, who starred with Bruce Willis in the phenomenal hit THE SIXTH SENSE, and in the critically acclaimed RUSHMORE.

Making his feature directorial debut is Jonas McCord, an Emmy, Peabody and Special Motion Picture Academy Award winning filmmaker, who also wrote the screenplay adapted from Richard Ben Sapir's novel.

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