Film portraying resurrection story opening

As Christians find themselves amid the solemn season of Lent, Hollywood is giving them a chance to take their faith to the multiplex.

“Risen,” touted as a biblical story of the resurrection and the weeks that followed, opens Friday at Columbus’ AMC Showplace 12 Theatre.

It sets Jesus’ rising as seen through the eyes of an unbelieving Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), part of a high-ranking Roman military tribune. Clavius and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) are instructed by Pontius Pilate to ensure Jesus’ radical followers don’t steal his body and claim resurrection.

When the body goes missing within days, Clavius sets out on a mission to locate the missing body in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

Since Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” in 2004, some local churches have purchased tickets for many faith-based flicks’ entire time showings — and then given away many of the seats to friends and others to stir discussion of faith-related issues. Columbia Pictures understands that — and has reached out to churches nationwide with everything from sermon series ideas from the film to suggestions for weaving elements from the movie into an Easter service.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.