Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
Virtually unknown outside of Italy, Messiah (Il Messia) is historically important as the last directorial effort of Roberto Rossellini. In retelling the life of Christ, Rosselini harks back to the humanistic style he'd utilized on his many Italian TV projects of the 1960s. The director has no intention of depicting Jesus as being the vessel of divine providence. The Man from Galilee is shown simply as one who is unusually moral and of spotless character -- the sort of person who'd be a natural leader no matter who his Father was. Co-scripted by its director, Messiah was completed in 1975, but not given a general release until 1978.