It is said that we are all given choices and yet each of our choices invokes its own destiny. The glorious production of One Night With the King (Gener8ion 8x films) tells the Biblical story of Hadassah (Tiffany Dupont), a young Jewish girl taken to the Persian King's Harem after his wife Vashti is executed for disobedience.
Beginning with the story of Samuel (Peter O'Toole) who frees the Amalek captives despite the commandment of the Lord that these anti-Semites should all be slain, it continues into the land of Persia and the time of King Xeres (Luke Gross). There is nothing by chance as Vashti, speaking up for her rights, is deposed and a content is held for the next Queen.
Knowing that his niece is a potential candidate, Mordechai (John Rhys-Davies) the Jewish scribe, instructs her to change her name from Hadassah to Esther and not to let anyone know of her heritage. Being of pure beauty and innocent heart, Esther wins over the affection of Hegai (Tommy Lister) the eunuch who watches over the harem and he, in turn, sees that her suit is brought before the King. The King, too, is captivated by Esther's charms and lack of desire for treasure.
To Esther's horror, she realizes that Haman (James Callis) one of the King's trusted advisors is of the cursed tribe of Amalek. A rabid anti-Semite, he has vowed to rid the world of the Jews. Scenes with his rabble rousing are scarily reminiscent of Hitler's urging the mob forth on Crystal Night. She believes that her secret is hidden and she will be kept safe but her uncle warns her that no one is safe from Haman's decree.
True to the Biblical story, when Mordechai discovers a plot against the King, it is Haman who is forced to show the Jew respect leading him through the streets dressed in the King's robes. This act makes Haman even more determined to destroy the Jews and so as trusted advisor sends word to all the outposts that the Jews are to be murdered and their possessions stolen on Adar 12 (March.) Mordechai rents his clothing and tells Esther that she must do something.
However, Esther and the King have argued and she is no longer in his favor. In the Biblical story, Esther fasted for three days and three nights but I guess it would have been difficult to show that visually and so the producers only did one day.
At peril to herself, Esther enters the throne room and is accepted. She can't announce her plight to the whole room and instead invites the King and Haman to a private banquet.
Again the Biblical story varies here because there were two and in some versions three banquets before Esther reveals who she is. The movie only has one night of suspense as Esther accuses Haman.
Nor does Haman wear the tri-cornered hat that we Jews eat as cookies (Hammentachen) on the holiday, but it is a relatively accurate account of the story of the holiday Purim.
The production values are lavish and photography breathtaking, not to mention some of the finest acting by stars as Omar Shariff and Peter O' Toole.
The film is well worth seeing over and over again and in fact I have suggested it to my daughter's Hebrew class as their annual film event.
Gener8ion 8X, as a production family, is dedicated to making movies with meaning and moral values and they have accomplished quite a lot in One Night With The King. The release is limited, however, and I had a choice of only two Los Angeles based theaters to see it but within a few weeks it will be out on DVD. I know for me, it is a keeper.