Testament: The Parables Retold


In “Testament: The Parables Retold” Luke hides from the dreaded Temple Guard with the early disciples hoping to further his research into his report on Jesus, but he gets more than he bargained for when he begins to hear the great storyteller’s own stories; the parables.


The film was written and directed by Paul Syrstad and starred Josh Beckman, Paulette P. Williams, Kenneth Omole, Charithra Chandran, Ben Turner,  Sule Rimi, Dylan Baldwin, Michelle Huirama, Anthony Ofoegbu, Tina Barnes, David Webber and Reiss Kershi. It was released in 2022 and produced by Roarlight Productions run by Paul Syrstad, Faith Syrstad, and Kenneth Omole. Angel Studios is the distributor of the film which was filmed in the U.K. on a 50k budget and has a runtime of 120 minutes.

Angel Studios is the home of stories that amplify light. Through its platform, Angel Studios invites tens of thousands of Angel investors to choose which titles will be created, funded, and distributed. Angel allows filmmakers and audiences to form passionate communities around their creative projects, making the story behind the story as important as the final project itself. The distribution team at Angel Studios is responsible for the global distribution and licensing of its unique, crowd-selected, and crowd-owned content.

Roarlight Productions brings to the screen some of the most profound parables spoken by Jesus Christ, reimagined in a contemporary setting. With stunning visuals, powerful storytelling, and a stellar cast, the film offers viewers a fresh perspective on timeless teachings that continue to resonate across generations. RoarLight was founded by Paul Syrstad in 2017 to produce films and TV shows that would “roar the light of Christ” on and off the screen.

The film started as a series of five short films inspired by the parables. Then, it evolved into a feature film that weaves one storyline. The tone is somewhat dark and heavy, but probably appropriate when you consider the persecution of the early church. It’s rated PG-13. Some intense moments may need to be considered before showing younger kids, but the message of the film is wholesome and uplifting.



At its core, “Testament: The Parables Retold” is a celebration of the enduring relevance of parables, which are simple stories used to convey moral or spiritual lessons that were the foundation of how many societies were built. “Testament: The Parables Retold” recounts timeless parables spoken by Jesus Christ, reimagined in a contemporary setting.

During their journey to deliver the truth that Christ has risen, a group of believers, known as “The Followers of the Way” must travel through danger and persecution. Set in the modern day, Testament explores the re-imagining of the Book of Acts. See how Luke’s life unfolds as he hears the parables of Jesus for the first time. Luke encounters various members of The Way, like Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ brother James. Throughout the film, these characters share some of the parables that Jesus once told. The film presents modern interpretations of classic stories such as:

  1. The Sower
  2. The Rich Fool
  3. The Good Samaritan
  4. The Hidden Treasure
  5. The Talents

Each parable unfolds against the backdrop of everyday life, exploring themes of compassion, forgiveness, and the power of faith, making them accessible and relatable to audiences of all backgrounds.

Testament: The Parables Retold



The film “Testament: The Parables Retold” explores several central themes, including:



Each parable in the film conveys profound spiritual truths and moral lessons that resonate across time and cultures. These truths are conveyed through modern retellings of biblical narratives, inviting viewers to reflect on their own lives and beliefs.



A recurring theme throughout the film is the importance of compassion and mercy towards others. The parables illustrate the transformative power of kindness and forgiveness, urging viewers to extend grace and understanding to those around them.

This is a sentiment that is needed in this era of social media where people are indifferent to other people. How many times have you and your friends received the message to terminate your life? How many times have you seen videos or pictures where people are in precarious conditions and are being mocked?



Many of the parables featured in the film focus on themes of redemption and forgiveness. Characters grapple with issues of guilt, shame, and the desire for reconciliation, highlighting the universal human need for healing and restoration.

Redemption is often celebrated but many times it’s without honest guilt and shame which makes it dishonest. Because it appears dishonest, true forgiveness is challenging to give.



Another prominent theme is the importance of faith and trust in God, an almighty power of good. A theme that has been severed by the Western pop culture. The parables encourage viewers to place their trust in divine providence and to have faith even in the face of adversity or uncertainty.



Some parables address issues of social justice and inclusion, emphasizing the importance of treating others with dignity and respect regardless of social status, ethnicity, or background. Themes that in the current day unfortunately have lost their true meaning.

“Testament: The Parables Retold” serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring relevance of Jesus’ teachings and their ability to inspire and transform lives.

Testament: The Parables Retold



It’s encouraging to see people finding new ways to tell stories about Jesus through film. The acting was ok, and the characters were believable but as this is practically a series of 5 short told in one setting, the compelling thread that links all stories was not so strong.

The movie explores how these stories were passed down within the early Christian community. Additionally, by incorporating some modern interpretations into the parables, the film indirectly suggests that the versions of the parables found in the gospels might have evolved, with additional layers of interpretation added between when Jesus originally told them and when they were written down by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.



One of the most striking features of the film is its visual storytelling. From sweeping landscapes to intimate moments of human connection, every frame is meticulously crafted to immerse viewers in the world of the parables. It is commendable how all this was done with such a low budget of $50K.

The cinematography captures the beauty of nature, the complexity of human emotions, and the transformative power of faith. Coupled with a hauntingly beautiful musical score, the film creates an atmosphere of contemplation and introspection, inviting audiences to reflect on the deeper meanings behind each parable.



Despite its many strengths, “Testament: The Parables Retold” is not without its flaws. Certain aspects of the film may feel overly sentimental or didactic, detracting from the subtlety of the original parables. Additionally, while the modern-day settings add a fresh perspective, they may also lead to inconsistencies in tone and interpretation.

Online you’ll see how devoted “Christians” question the accuracy of the film, and despise the modern setting. Others review the movie like it’s an Oscar contender or made by a well-known experienced Hollywood director. It’s a 50k budget made by filmmakers who want to tell stories about Christ and want to reach a bigger audience. Moreover, their previous experience before making this film was making shorts. This time they took a series of 5 shorts and tried to challenge themselves by telling them in one setting.



In today’s world where people have lost their faith, the only way to get their attention is to make relatable stories, and unfortunately for the traditionalists that would mean delving into the progressive and showing how God’s light can reach them too. The problem with Christian films has been that they beat you over the head with the stories instead of telling a simple story that appeals to non-Christians as well. I thought the goal was to share the stories, not keep them to yourselves.

The film’s shortcomings pale in comparison to its overall impact, which lies in its ability to inspire, enlighten, and provoke thought. Maybe it’s the times we live in, but it just made me happy to know that such a film can be made with just $50k. Imagine if they had a little bit more money (not much), to get an editor, script doctor, or advisor and provide early screenings to get feedback to improve the film before its final version.



Due to the positive response and support for the film, the filmmakers partnered with Angel Studios for the opportunity to develop Testament into an upcoming multi-season TV show.

I’m certain there are lessons to take away and areas to improve upon for the upcoming series. However, completely dismissing the original intent and suggesting that it’s a waste of money for those who backed the crowdfunding project isn’t fair. Especially when those making such claims wouldn’t hesitate to spend money on other types of movies. If more people didn’t have this mindset, we’d likely see more new independent filmmakers exploring innovative creative ideas.

I’m fed up with stories of despair, where villains are glorified and darkness prevails. After the past 5 years, especially the pandemic period, I crave uplifting tales where characters, flawed or not, uphold strong morals and principles, where light triumphs over darkness, and where true justice prevails. I long for stories of hope, divine justice/karma, unity, forgiveness, and redemption.

Filmmakers should be allowed to make the stories they want to make: stories for little children, teens, adults, or for everyone. More filmmakers should be encouraged to delve into these stories that carry a moral or spiritual lesson and make them more relatable to the general audience. Especially new filmmakers like in this case should be allowed to make mistakes, that’s how they learn and perfect their craft.

Take Peter Jackson for example. His Lord of the Rings Movies are universally revered as great movies but he didn’t get there on his first try. He made his first film, made mistakes, learned from them, and continued to make films and gain experience.



The Blu-Ray DVD combo pack was released in 2023. The sealed blue case contained a flyer ad for Angel Studios, a printed Blu-Ray disc, and a DVD. The disc’s setup is really simple with no music.

The disc’s menus are the same with only a play movie option and the setup for the audio selection and the subtitles in English and Spanish. There is no scene/chapter selection or any bonus features. It would have been great to have the parable’s list to select the story you want to watch/rewatch.

Testament: The Parables Retold



“Testament: The Parables Retold” is an interesting journey that breathes new life into ancient wisdom. It stands as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling and the universal truths found within the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Through its innovative approach and heartfelt performances, the film succeeds in breathing new life into age-old wisdom, inviting viewers to rediscover the timeless relevance of the parables. Whether you’re a devout believer or a curious seeker, this cinematic masterpiece offers something for everyone, reminding us that the greatest truths are often found in the simplest of stories. There is something in the film for everyone, regardless of where they are in life. This modern rendition of Bible stories is for those struggling, thriving, or just beginning their faith journey.

You can watch Testament for free on Angel Studios’ streaming platform. It is also streaming on Amazon Prime and available on a variety of other platforms, including mobile, TV, and web. Search the “Angel Studios” app on your platform of choice such as Roku, Fire TV, Google TV, Samsung, and Apple TV. To see a full list of supported devices, go to angel.com/legal/devices.  You can also purchase or rent it digitally on  Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, Microsoft, and Fandango at home. The physical media is available to purchase on the Angel Studios web store.

Also, on Angel Studios’ streaming platform, you can find a live watch party with the creator, Paul Syrstad. Hear from the director himself on why he made this film and what he has planned next. It’s inspiring to hear the filmmakers talk about their inspirations and their process to make films.

Give it a chance and watch this reimagining of the book of Acts.

Looking for more inspiring stories? Check LIBERTOS: O PREÇO DA VIDA


My notes are all set. Let me know what you think.

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