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The “Prince of Egypt” is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best cartoons of the past 30 years, able to tell the story of Moses without, however, diminishing the entertainment
The Prince of Egypt
In Egypt, the Jewish people are enslaved. Pharaoh Seti, fearing that an alarming rise in Jewish slaves could lead to rebellion, orders his guards to kill all Jewish baby boys. A panicked mother rushes to the Nile River to escape the Pharaoh’s guards who are looking for her baby and puts the baby in a basket, sleeps him singing a lullaby, and entrusts him to the waters, hoping that they will lead him to safety. Her daughter Miriam is also there with her and, after following the basket along the banks of the river, she sees him reach the Pharaoh’s palace, where he is adopted by Queen Tuya, and grows him together with his son Ramses.
Twenty years later, Seti appoints Ramses as Prince Regent and confers authority over Egyptian temples. In homage, he is offered a beautiful young Midian woman, Zippora. Ramses gives Zippora to Moses. Later that night, the girl escapes from the palace and Moses, chasing her, runs into the now adult Miriam, but does not recognize her. Miriam then sings her mother’s lullaby and Moses begins to remember. Returning to the palace, following an agonizing dream, he finds the painting that tells the massacre of the babies and the pharaoh tells him the whole truth, claiming that after all the Jews were only slaves. Troubled, the next day Moses tries to save a slave from a guard’s beatings, but ends up killing her. So Moses flees to the desert, where he will meet Zippora again and will be commissioned by God to free his people from oppression.
The pains of the man Moses
The film brings the story of Moses to the big screen, managing to keep the biblical form and themes unchanged, without however being boring or heavy in any way. The Exodus is re-proposed here in its entirety, however highlighting the human side and the feelings experienced by the prophet during the long journey to the Promised Land.
“The Prince of Egypt” is in fact one of the few cases in which the “additions” are actually placed in an intelligent way, with the precise aim of better understanding the emotions and sufferings of the Jewish people and the human Moses. This detail many times overlooked because of the “divine mission”, but it is something essential and allows you to fully understand what his sacrifice was, which few would do with such ease.
In fact, the prophet grew for decades at the court of Pharaoh, sharing time and affections with the royal family, thus becoming an integral part of the government fabric. An account is if this is briefly told, an account is to be immersed in his daily life, acknowledging with even more force one of the greatest sacrifices he made: denying his present and being born poor again. The film shows us how it was Moses who chose his role in the world, abdicating from his role of “god on earth” to search for the “true God” who, paradoxically, is made of humanity.
Faithful to the end
Once discovered the inhumanity of his adoptive family, in fact, he will flee to Midian, transforming himself from sovereign to shepherd and thus finding his relationship with the divine, completely lost in his garments as real. The whole film continuously plays with this concept, constantly showing that power in and of itself is the real cause of the curse of God, even worse than the plagues.
“The Prince of Egypt” is one of the best cartoons of the past 30 years, able to represent both a training product and a merely entertaining one, thus managing to broaden the audience of its message. There are actually small differences compared to the original story (e.g. no text refers to the friendship between Moses and Ramses), however, they are insignificant or even instrumental in making the product understandable to everyone. Recommended for anyone (including oratories and Muslim equivalents), especially those who want to learn more about the history of this great prophet.
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