Mary Magdalene was a prostitute

Mary Magdalene: Declared a saint by the whore

Mary Magdalene: Declared a saint by the whore

The companion Mary Magdalene, mentioned by name or indirectly in the four Gospels, was a subject of speculation - from the church stigmatized as a sinner to the bestselling author Dan Brown “The Da Vinci Code” and his conspiracy theory.

The Catholic Church only rehabilitated her as "Apostle of the Apostles" two years ago. Mary of Magdala, a fishing village in Galilee, helped her family but refused to marry. It was believed that she was possessed by demons. She met Jesus of Nazareth, half out of her mind by “driving out the devil”, followed him against all odds and became his most loyal, most intelligent companion - until the crucifixion. She accompanies the Messiah to death, to the burial, while the disciples hide away.

Convincing Maria, wrong choice with Jesus

Director Garth Davis ("Lion") and his British writers Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett take a clear position. It is the men who misunderstand Jesus' message. This applies both to the black Simon Peter and to Judas Iscariot, who expects an earthly show of strength and violent overthrow from the Redeemer and therefore becomes a traitor. The film treats well-known episodes such as the resuscitation of Lazarus, the washing of the feet or Judas' kiss as a minor matter. It is noteworthy that the Lord's Supper only takes place incidentally, but with Mary Magdalene in the middle of the disciples. The salvation drama focuses on her, who gives herself in spirit to the herald of salvation (without erotic allusion) and understands that the renewal, the kingdom of God, emanates from people and takes place within.

Greig Fraser's camera reflects feelings about faces, especially with the convincingly suffering Rooney Mara as Maria Magdalena. Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus is a bad cast. His expression of suffering remains rigid and stiff. Even if this biography turns out to be conservative and well-behaved and does not engage in speculation (was Mary Magdalene the beloved of Jesus?), The fictional film fascinates as a faith drama and (biblical) monument of emancipation: The disciple Mary Magdalene (Jesus: "Be my hand") is rehabilitated, but at the same time stylized into a feminist figure of light. Not a brave work, it pleases itself as a beautiful, contemporary image of women that does not hurt anyone.

Rolf Breiner