dvd / blu-ray Review

Risen (DVD): Review


Set in Judea about 33 AD‚ and following a Romin Tribune on his quest to find the missing body of a crucified Jew‚ Risen shows us some other aspects of life taking place at the time of the crucifiction of Jesus Christ.

While much thought and research have gone in to the production of Risen‚ and with the main thread of the story being that of seeking to find if Jesus has been resurrected‚ the filmmakers do not push religion or Christianity on the viewer. The story holds value‚ whether you are a devout believer‚ or just someone looking for some entertainment for the.

There are moments where the Twelve Apostles seem to be portrayed as giggling bafoons‚ seemingly too jolly to take serious the horrific nature of the Roman oppression the land was suffering under at the time. But for the most part‚ the story follows a serious side‚ sharing the biblical details of the time and expanding on events that are often not the main focus when this story is told.

The recreation of the local geography and architecture of the time is astounding‚ and one can learn more about this in the bonus features.


Risen is available now‚ to purchase on disc‚ in South Africa.

Overall, the disc for Risen is of good quality, with a decent selection of extra features.


Video is encoded in a high bitrate. There are no visible artefacts. Colours are vibrant‚ with no colour bleed. Blacks are deep‚ with no visible noise.


Sound is encoded at a high average bitrate. The audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Dialogue is clear on the centre channel‚ with use of the surround channels to expand the on-screen world‚ and further draw the viewer in to the story.

There are several choices for audio languages‚ and an even greater choice of subtitles.


Navigation is simple‚ and easy to follow. Menu backgrounds are static‚ with background music on the main menu.

Viewers can skip to a specific scenes‚ via the scene selection sub-menu‚ with these presented as large thumbnails.

Bonus Features

Feature Commentary with Patrick and Paul Aiello: An insight in to the whole process of the film. A great resource for those who wish to learn more about filmmaking, those who are looking to learn more about how Risen was made, and an open ticket to behind the scenes of the whole process.

The Mystery of the Resurrection: Making Risen: More behind the scenes magic, of how the location of the film were created, how the story came to be, and was brought to life, the location, the set design, and the various creative choices made by the filmmakers in order to tell the story yet keep true to historical and biblical texts.

Creating A.D. Jerusalem: A very interesting look at how the cities landscape and architecture were created in the film from the use of existing buildings and landscapes‚ parts of ruins‚ and the seamless integration of computer generated set extensions.

A wonderful insight for an audience‚ and budding filmmakers alike‚ bringing a sort of grounding to the locations we get to experience in such detail throughout the film.

Script to Screen: The journey of the film‚ starting with the initial idea‚ and the efforts put in by filmmakers to bring that to fruition.

Previews: Carrying the theme of miracles and prayer further, there are previews for Miracles from Heaven, War Room, Where Hope Grows, Heaven is for Real, When the Game Stands Tall, and The Remaining (Read the SAMDB Review of The Remaining here). While these can not be skipped on a per-trailer basis, you can fast forward.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

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