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5 Stars Out Of 5
March 15, 2010
The Road Less Traveled is certainly a film that I will enjoy for years to come. The host is a young, energetic explorer who seems very knowledgeable about the sites and the history of Christianity and Judaism.There were so many holy sites in this film that I will have to watch it repeatedly just to take them all in. I wish a little more time were spent at some of these amazing places, but I always got to see & understand each artifact, tomb, shrine, etc. and I definitely feel that I got my moneys worth. In addition, the film includes scriptural and biblical references at every site, so this has become in incredible study guide for me. It has truly made my bible study come to life.Most of the sites shown in this movie I have never seen before and are definitely not shown in any other Holy Land films and videos. The film captures their beauty and mystique in great quality. Brandon (the host) got right up close to every site and made me feel like I was right there with him.Brandon also incorporates elements of fasting into the film, which makes the story much more interesting and keeps this from becoming a simple travel show. I learned about the different kinds of fasting without feeling preached to, which was nice. They also incorporate animation and fun graphics, which gave the film a lot of production value and made it fun for my whole family to watch.I read another review that didnt think the film had enough danger, but that simply isnt true. During the movie, Brandon repeatedly films in Palestine and the wilderness where no one has before, accesses off limits areas, enters guarded mosques, climbs fences, crawls through tunnels, and even walks along a mine fieldif thats not dangerous, I dont know what is.I may never get to the Holy Land, but this film makes me feel like I have already been. I will continue to enjoy it and use it with my studies.
Trones covers a great amount of ground over his 40-day journey, but each site is covered in such a compressed amount of time (most often less than one minute, with around four minutes maximum) that it was difficult to take away any real feeling of educational value or spiritual depth. The pace is so rapid that the journey seems disjointed and often choppy, leaving viewers without a sense of purpose, plan, or cohesion.Trones largely fails to incorporate biblical references and proof texts for the sites he visits, instead relying mainly on hearsay and tradition. He visits churches that supposedly contain the bones of saints, works his way through the Catholic (at times extra-biblical) stations of the cross while lugging a wooden one on his shoulders, and is often heard saying, This is where they say [insert event that may or may not be recorded in the Bible] occurred. Personally, I was looking for more proof of authentication, and more historical detail than Trones provided.At times Trones comments are somewhat rude, and downright inaccurate. For example, in his commentary on the Church at Cana he claims that Jesus turned water into a whole lot of hooch, and makes comments about how many people would be able to get drunk on that. Comments such as these left me wondering if Trones was a believer in the earlier portions of the film.Overall, I was left with the impression that The Road Less Traveled is more about a young mans personal travelogue than it is about any deep historical or spiritual exploration. Most of my mental visual images from the film involve Trones scrambling around tourist sites and caves exclaiming, Wow, isnt this neat? which is fine in and of itself. I was just expecting more.