HomeFC ORIGINALSIs Netflix Docuseries ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’ Historically Accurate As Per...

    Is Netflix Docuseries ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’ Historically Accurate As Per Events In The Bible?

    History is written by winners, and unfortunately, there’s no way to tell the right history from the wrong in its inherent sense. While we still continue to believe what has been the lore for centuries, globalization has found its own way of twisting, turning, and molding facts — both intentionally and unintentionally. Be it through books or films or social media, there have been several attempts to retell stories that have been long believed to be true.

    How the audience responds to these pieces of rectified or whitewashed pieces of claimed history varies for several reasons. It could be for all sorts of agendas — political, religious, criminal, or merely for the sake of belief. One such recent show that has gotten itself mired in controversy because of its religious and historical undertones is Netflix’s ‘Testament: The Story of Moses. Here’s a brief dissection of the show and how true it holds in the historical sense.

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    How Accurate Is The Story Told In ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’?

    Still from ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’
    Still from ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’

    Testament: The Story Of Moses‘ is a three-part Turkish docudrama that was recently released on Netflix on March 27. Produced by Karga7 Productions, the story of the show revolves around the historical character Moses, and traces his transformation from a banished outcast to a revered prophet leading his people to salvation.

    Narrated by English actor Charles Dance, the show stars Israeli actor Avi Azulay as Moses. As a docuseries,  it combines dramatic reenactments and expert interviews to bring this ancient tale to life.

    Though Biblical scholars and theologians have contended that the story of Moses is not historically accurate, ‘Testament: The Story of Moses‘ largely adheres to the biblical narrative. It draws inspiration from the Book of Exodus. which is where Moses’s story has been documented according to the Bible.

    Divided into three parts —’The Prophet, ‘The Plagues, and the ‘Promised Land‘ — the series offers a fresh perspective on Moses’ journey. While many might know him as a spiritual figure to be followed, the show also explores the inner struggles and personal growth of Moses as a human being, while he encounters divine intervention and miraculous events.

    According to the religious scholars in Biblical History in Israel’s Past, the stories and course of events involving Moses depicted in the Book of Exodus are not historically accurate. However, they are the most famous and dramatically compelling Bible stories and are therefore largely believed to be true.

    The producers of the series, Emre Sahin and Kelly McPherson, have tried to bring to screen Moses’ “inner life” and his humanity. They clarified that through the show, they have aimed to uncover the personal nuances of his character, going beyond the typically epic elements commonly associated with his story.

    In their words, “Anyone who has seen The Ten Commandments as a child was well aware of the more epic elements of the tale. The burning bush, the plagues, Passover, the Red Sea, and, of course, the Ten Commandments. What really drew us in was the mystery of Moses’ inner life, his struggles with his own identity, his self-doubt, his humanness.”

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    Netflix’s Track Record Of Controversial Docudramas Puts ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’ Under Scrutiny

    Still from ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’
    Still from ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’

    The show, however, does not miss out on the significant biblical events. But what makes it stand out is the lesser-known aspects of Moses’ life. The producers claim that the show brings forth facts about Moses that have either been completely omitted in the Bible or are too deeply buried for a reader to notice and acknowledge them.

    Some interviews with religious scholars and historians adds further depth to the narrative, offering insights into the cultural and historical context of Moses’ time. Along with a variety of legitimate experts, the cast of the show also includes Mehmet Kurtulus playing the Egyptian Pharaoh and Tulay Gunal playing Pharaoh’s daughter, Bithia.

    Testament: The Story of Moses’ especially falls under scrutiny given Netflix’s history of some controversial documentaries and docudramas including ‘Queen Cleopatra‘ and ‘Alexander: The Making of a God’. Both these shows received backlash for allegedly presenting loose historical facts and playing fast, thereby harming Netflix’s credibility.

    Despite Netflix’s infamous track record, Karga7 Productions has fared well with its historical accuracy in past projects like ‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman‘ and ‘Midnight at the Pera Palace. While comparisons to past Netflix productions raise concerns about accuracy, the partnership with Karga7 Productions is retains some authenticity for ‘Testament: The Story of Moses.

    By leveraging Karga7’s expertise, the series aims to strike a balance between entertainment and education, offering viewers a never-seen-before portrayal of Moses’ biblical journey. ‘Testament: The Story of Moses’ may have taken creative liberties with certain elements, audiences can expect a sincere effort to remain faithful to the essence of Moses’ story as depicted in the Bible. The docuseries is now available for streaming on Netflix.

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.

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