Greatest story ever told now with a modern, musical twist in Journey to Bethlehem

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The season of Hallmark movies is rapidly approaching. But one director is trying to refocus the attention on the real reason for the season…with a modern twist.

Director, Journey to Bethlehem

I want, first of all, people to know what they're celebrating. It's funny. There's so many beautiful, colorful, great movies at Christmas. But they don't talk about Christmas. You know it's Santa and elves and all these things. They're great movies. They're classics. But I wanted to make that type of movie and tell people what Christmas is all about.

To do this, Anders made the film, Journey to Bethlehem, as perhaps the first musical rendition of the Nativity Story. But the reason behind the music is not simply to have a new Christmas album but to tell an old story in a new way.

Director, Journey to Bethlehem

Music can penetrate and break down defenses in a way that nothing else can. Sometimes words just don't land, but a beautiful melody with a lyric that hits the emotion of the moment is really powerful. And I thought what more powerful way to tell the story and to have as many people as possible want to hear the story than through song.

The story came to life through song with an A-list cast, including Antonio Banderas, Milo Manheim and musicians Lecrae and Joel Smallbone from For King & Country. Yet, it wasn't as easy to adapt the Bible passages to song or fill in the blank spaces of the dialogue.

Director, Journey to Bethlehem

And it's not a documentary. They didn't break into song and dance to pop music. I know that. So there's definitely some creative license taken. But at the heart of it is this story that's so important to me and so many people. And I tried to stay so true to the important things of the story, right?
We don't know what Mary said to her parents. We don't know what they said back to her. We don't kow what Joseph's reaction was. It doesn't say anything in the Bible, so that's where I tried to make them relatable and felt like well, what if it was us?

Anders hopes it will be a Christmas film that will bring families and friends together for the greatest story ever told.


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