Despite his relatively small role in the Gospels, Caiaphas is frequently portrayed in film as Jesus' main enemy and the one who bears moral, if not legal responsibility for Jesus condemnation and death on the cross. It is Caiaphas who presides over Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin, pronounces him guilty of blasphemy, and delivers him to Pilate. Like the Pharisees, Caiaphas challenges filmmakers to maintain the tension and conflict so essential to the biopic genre, and yet avoid antagonizing viewers who might be sensitive to the ways in which a Jewish leader, even a long dead one, is brought to life on the silver screen.
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