While growing up in Sweden, I recall that there was a tradition to broadcast particular films on television during the holidays. It became quiet customary to repeat a special broadcast every year. That was long before the cable with its multitude of channels. We only had two at that time and one of them would always show the Anglo-Italian television miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth" during the Easter weekend.
I was already then enthralled by this masterpiece. Even though it is over thirty years old, still today I watch it with the same intensity as I did when I was a young girl, as it is close to impossible not to be captivated by the creative force and visions of Franco Zeffirelli, the director. His perceptive talent in casting, the ability to create authentic settings and his compelling storytelling has always appealed to me. Other of his works worth to mention in this context would be the adaptation of the famous Shakespeare love tragedy, Romeo and Juliet from 1967.
The success of this Easter miniseries was attributed not just to superb direction, but also to the astounding performance, both visual and creative, by the actor Robert Powell in the main role. Zeffirelli also did again cast Olivia Hussey (who appeared ten years prior in his "Romeo and Juliet") in the role of Mary. Her ethereal appeal brought serenity and a tranquil allure into this important role.