28. The Fourth Wiseman
Since Christmas is just a few days away, I decided to choose an uplifting holiday movie to highlight on Media Monday. Because I already addressed It’s a Wonderful Life, my choice was The Fourth Wise Man (also known as The Other Wise Man). Both a book and a movie, this tells that tale of another wise man who was unable to make it on the trip with his three friends to see the baby Jesus. Although more religious, the themes in it are universal and inspiring.
Synopsis: Artaban, a magi from far away, longs to follow the new star along with three of his friends. With an sapphire, ruby, and pearl as gifts for the newborn king, the wealthy man leaves his home to find the child. However, a poor man needing help delays Artaban which keeps him from meeting the other wise men. Determined to still find the child, the magi hurries on his way. Over the years, the search for the king continues as Artaban keeps just missing him by stopping to help others. Will Artaban ever find the child, or will he keep searching forever?
Recovery Pluses: The main message of this movie is about viewing everyone as worthy of help and life. Artaban treats everyone he meets with care and love. No matter how much lower they are than his station, people receive care from this wise man. Watching this reminds us to never belittle others or see them as unimportant. Everyone deserves our sympathy and help. However, this message also can be applied to oneself. We need to allow people into our lives to care for us. When we both love and are loved through kind acts and words, everyone receives healing and joy.
Another important point to be taken from this film is that you never know how your actions will affect others. Artaban wants to bring his present to honor the baby king. Instead, his journey takes him to others in great deal. Although he gives away all of his jewels to people without meeting the baby, the wiseman saves the lives of many. Slowly, the realization dawns on him that he did the right thing all along by caring for those in need.
Cautions: This movie has some intense moments such as Herod killing the babies, a woman being sold into slavery, and a man being condemned to die. Most of the impact of these horrors is either simply eluded to, stopped before it happens, or shown discretely. Young children might be frightened still or simply confused, but overall this film could be enjoyed by most families.
The Fourth Wise Man ends on bittersweet note. Although Artaban believes he failed the baby, the story shows the importance of his love and care of all. If you are not religious, this film might not be as impactful at certain times. However, the message of helping all people no matter their background or wealth is so beautiful. I encourage you to watch this Christmas film and think about how you act like Artaban.
The Fourth Wise Man Trailer on Youtube
The Fourth Wise Man on the IMDB
The Fourth Wise Man on Rotten Tomatoes