This chapter looks at the portrayal of Mary, Jesus' mother, in the Gospels and in the Jesus biopics. The films ask two major questions: What was Mary's role in Jesus' infancy and childhood? And, what sort of relationship did Mary and Jesus have in his adulthood? It concludes that Mary's cinematic portrayal is affected by the conventional psychological assumptions of modern western society: the connection between childhood experiences and adult identity, and the notion that one of the marks of a mature adult is the quality of her or his relationship with parents and other family members. Also crucial is the role of Mary in Christian, particularly Catholic, theology. While Mary's role in film may be empowering for some women, she is generally cast in a supportive and secondary role.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.