Tuesday, December 5, 2006



Frankincense is an aromatic resin obtained from the tree B. sacra and is used as an incense as well as in perfumes.

Myrrh is a red-brown resinous material, the dried sap of the tree Commiphora myrrha. It is a constituent of perfumes and incense and was highly prized in ancient times. It was often worth more than its weight in gold and priced at five times as much as frankincense. Today myrrh is used in liniments and in healing salves that may be applied to abrasions and other minor skin ailments.

Many different theories of the meaning and symbolism of the gifts from the three Magi have been advanced, since while gold is fairly obviously explained, frankincense, and particularly myrrh, are much more obscure.

The theories generally break down into two groups:
 That they are all ordinary gifts for a king - myrrh being commonly used as an anointing oil, frankincense as a perfume, and gold as a valuable commodity.
 That they are prophetic - gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense as a symbol of divine authority, and myrrh as a symbol of death.

Ciaran Hinds: Herod, the pro-Roman king of a small Jewish state
Keisha Castle-Hughes: teenager Mary
Hiam Abbass: her mother Anna
Shaun Toub: her father Joaquim
Oscar Issac: Joseph, a carpenter
Alexander Siddig: the Archangel Gabriel
Shohreh Agdashloo: Mary’s cousin Elizabeth living in Judae
Stanley Townsend: Elizabeth’s husband Zachariah, a priest

This is a simple straightforward telling of a well-known story without the usual theatrics and over-the-top Hollywood special effects. The performances are all low-key and devoid of extreme emotion, very much like in real-life.

Great attention to detail has been given to the costumes, the settings and even the tools used so everything looks real and not fake like we see so often.

for some violent content.

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