Reality Films

Title: The Murder of Mary Magdalene: Genocide of the Holy Bloodline (DVD)
Genre: Religion, Conspiracy, History, Occult
Production Company: Reality Films

Synchronicity is a hard thing to prove. It’s even harder to prove a given theory by citing a series of perceived synchronicities. And this is exactly what Dan Green sets out to do in The Murder of Mary Magdalene: Genocide of the Holy Bloodline.

Offering an alternative history to the story of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Green weaves an intricate tapestry of symbols, codes and clues to support his belief that Mary Magdalene was murdered to prevent word from getting out that she and Jesus Christ were much closer than commonly believed.

This is the kind of film that gets traditional religious persons up in arms. Similar claims made in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982) led to that book being banned in strongly Catholic countries such as the Philippines.

Likewise, Dan Brown’s fictional The Da Vinci Code (2003) sparked off a lot of heated debate and its overall content was deemed “offensive” by many Catholics.

Sociologists and Religious Studies professors like John Gager say that whenever the beliefs and practices of an out-group get a bit too close for comfort to those of an established in-group, members of the in-group get upset. The in-group then wants to better define its boundaries, which may lead to exclusion, condemnation or, as we’ve seen in the often grisly march of human history, persecution.

According to this theory, it’s the similarity of the two groups that riles the established in-group. Radically different out-groups lacking some kind of thematic overlap with an entrenched in-group are usually ignored. But when an out-group hits a nerve by getting too ideologically close to the in-group—that’s when sparks fly.

This dynamic apparently took place between the early Christians and the Gnostics. And a similar kind of dynamic continues to this day.

As for The Murder of Mary Magdalene‘s challenge to the traditional Christian story, I found this DVD far more a Jungian-style treatise than a flaky religious rant. If anything, it’s a testament to the power of synchronicity. From watching this film, it seems that Dan Green perceived an ongoing set of synchronicities all through the research and production phases of The Murder of Mary Magdalene.

In case you’re wondering, synchronicity is a word coined by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung to point to the idea of meaningful coincidence. From the perspective of synchronicity, nothing happens by chance. And the idea of chance, itself, is taken as nothing more than a human concept.

The DVD’s special features include an author interview by director Philip Gardiner. This summarizes the film’s main points while giving a biographical sketch of Green. Here, Green’s eyes sparkle whenever he talks about the synchronicities he encountered during the film’s production. And that’s something pretty hard to fake.

What did go through my mind, however, was a question. Not the central question posed by this film – was Mary Magdalene murdered? – but another one regarding the interpretation of synchronistic events.

No doubt, Green believes he encountered genuine synchronicities. But we’re compelled to ask if Green’s interpretation of those inner-outer experiences is more about his own personal journey instead of a universal truth about the supposed unwritten history of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

We can’t know for sure, of course. But the question does arise.

On the cinematography side, viewers will enjoy the UK’s archaic Lincoln Cathedral, along with many other sacred treasures so very well presented in this film.

The Murder of Mary Magdalene: Genocide of the Holy Bloodline was the perfect antidote to the mid-February grind of Canadian winter. Whether or not you agree with its conclusions, this is the kind of film where you can just sit back and let it take you away.

Chances are the only folks who’ll find it upsetting are those who aren’t really comfortable with their beliefs anyhow. It’s a button pusher. But only if  buttons are there to be pushed.

—MC
Revised from original review published March 22, 2010.