Judge David Johnson is grateful they stopped short of a detailed "Walking Leviticus."
Moseying with Moses.
In 2005, author Bruce Feiler released his book Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land through the Five Books of Moses, which documented his on-foot/camelback/Land Cruiser-driving adventure through the Middle East, tracking the big happenings in the first five books of the Bible. This DVD is a companion piece to the book, yet stands alone as a fine documentary in its own right.
Walking the Bible runs about 160 minutes in length, chopped into three 55 minutes chapters. Each chapter has Bruce tackling a section of the Pentateuch, and we watch as he traces the routes of the some of the major Old Testament heavy-hitters: from Adam and Eve to Noah to Abraham to Joseph to the big dog Moses, Bruce and his camera crew traipse all over the Middle East. Sounds fun, huh?
Thankfully, it's Bruce who has to deal with the armed guards and the border checkpoints, and we can just recline and soak up the desert atmosphere. Bruce is accompanied by a variety of guides; most frequently some guy named Avner who really knows his geography and Biblical history. Here are the three episodes:
• "Go Forth: From Creation to Abraham"
• "A Coat of Many Colors: The Israelites in Egypt"
• "Toward the Promised Land: Forty Years in the
This is a really slick two-disc set, and the content should appeal to pretty much all types of religious followers (aside from maybe the Robot Demon Cougar Cult out of northern Botswana). Jews and Christians, though, will likely appreciate the program more than anyone, as the path Bruce takes is integral to their faiths. As a host, Bruce is amicable and articulate, and, best of all (if you're a person subscribing to one of the aforementioned belief systems) reverential. He tempers many of his monologues with talk of being "rational" and "scientific," yet by the end of his trip he seems downright ecclesiastical.
But the big star of this feature is the breathtaking scenery. Bruce's trip covers a lot of ground and it is captured in its entire arid splendor: mountains, deserts, lakes, seas, cities, and all monuments between. Walking the Bible is a real treat for the armchair traveler.
Unfortunately, all of this wondrous scenic beauty is cornholed with a non-anamorphic widescreen transfer. The video quality is nevertheless sharp and detailed, but the extra effort to make it anamorphic would have gone a long, long way. A soundtrack for the visually impaired (featuring a woman relating the on-screen action) supplements a 2.0 stereo mix. Aside from some photo galleries, the extras are limited to DVD-ROM content. There you can access book excerpts and a Q&A with Bruce.
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