Movie 11min

Joseph In Egypt (1911)

Original title: Giuseppe ebreo
Learn the commercial value of a man in the days of long ago.
Not rated.

Country Italy
Language Italian
(Original) Giuseppe ebreo
(Country Spesific) Joseph et ses frères
(Country Spesific) Joseph in Ägypten
(Country Spesific) Joseph and His Brethren
Ancient Egypt Based on the Bible Biblical Drama Black and White Book of Genesis Brother-Brother Relationship Dreams Jealousy Joseph son of Jacob Old Testament Prophesy Short Silent Film Slavery

Jealous of their younger brother, Joseph, the older brothers heartlessly sell him to a company of merchants who are traveling into Egypt. Although at first a slave in Egypt, Joseph soon rises to be steward in the King's household. One day, Pharaoh, the King, summons Joseph to interpret a certain dream and is so astounded at his wonderful powers of prophecy that he appoints him viceroy in the kingdom. Some time afterwards there is a famine in the land of Israel, the home of Joseph's father and brothers. Joseph sends for his brothers to come and receive grain. When they arrive, he gives them the promised grain and after revealing himself, graciously forgives them.

Source: Moving Picture World

It is not a Biblical drama in the sense that Athalia is, for it keeps strictly to the story as written by the author of Exodus. It is, therefore, as interesting as a drama and historical also. The early scenes show pastoral scenes in the Land of Moab, where the sons of Abraham keep their flocks. These flocks and their shepherds are seen. Then we see the sale of Joseph into Egypt and, after that the scenes are mostly in sumptuous Egyptian palaces. The story is very well put on. It is dignified in every way, acting, settings and mechanical work, and some of the scenes are poetic and some are grand. It is a very sure feature for the right kind of audience.

Source: The Moving Picture World, February 10, 1912

Jacob's affection for his son Joseph arouses the jealousy of his brothers, who, at the suggestion of Judas, instead of killing him, decide to sell him to some Ishmaelite merchants. They take him to Egypt and sell him in turn to Potiphar, captain of the Pharaoh's guards, who employs him as a butler in the royal palace. Potiphar's wife falls in love with him: she is rejected, she slanders him with her husband, who puts him in prison. In the same cell as him there are two Pharaoh's officers, with whom he proves his skill in interpreting dreams. Two years later, when the Pharaoh tells of a strange dream he had (fat cows and lean cows), his officer suggests that he consult with Joseph: and he explains the dream so well that he obtains the position of viceroy. When famine arrives, Jacob sends his children to Egypt, the only country to have provided itself with grain supplies. Joseph recognizes the brothers, but does not open to them: together with the wheat, however, he has a precious silver cup of his put in the bag of the youngest of the brothers, Benjamin. After leaving, he makes the guards chase the brothers, who, discovering the cup in Benjamin's saddlebag, make them all return to Egypt: and here finally Joseph reveals his identity, embraces them and forgives them.

Source: Arte y Cinematografia, Madrid, n. 28, 5. November 1911 - Translated

(...) In Joseph and his Brothers the Cines Company present a thoroughly excellent and scholarly picture, which may be placed at once amongst the best work they have done, and this, as our readers know, is to give it high praise. Too many films depicting Biblical history are shrouded in a veil of mysticism and theatrical reverence, which, more often than not, merely results in an almost ridiculous uncertainty. The Cines Company, on the contrary, have treated their story with the same finished, straightforward methods which they have employed so successfully with other historical subjects. The result is a picture astonishingly real and vivid, and thoroughly imbued with the atmosphere of the time it deals with. The producer has carefully followed the Biblical text, and the film is therefore of considerable value, if only from an educational point of view, whilst, artistically, it includes many scenes which, for sheer beauty, could scarcely be outrivalled. (...) The film is characterised by dignified acting and impressive staging.

Source: The Bioscope, London, November 2, 1911

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