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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

"Journey to Bethlehem" Brings Song and Dance to the Nativity Story

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

The Christmas musical stars Antonio Banderas and top Christian performers as well.

Milo Manheim and Fiona Palomo, who star as Joseph and Mary, appear in a movie poster for "Journey to Bethlehem."
Milo Manheim and Fiona Palomo, who star as Joseph and Mary, appear in a movie poster for "Journey to Bethlehem." Image: Affirm Films/from Facebook

Christian Film Blog will admit that the trailer for Journey to Bethlehem is among the most unforgettable we have seen in quite some time: we simply cannot get the image of dancing soldiers in full armor out of our collective head. Perhaps such a jarring visual should come as no surprise, however, in a musical portrayal of the birth of Christ, which is what this one is.


From Affirm Films - Sony Pictures' faith-based division - the movie was shot in Spain and stars that nation's native son Antonio Banderas in the role of Herod, the evil king of the Jews. Fiona Palomo plays the part of Mary, mother of Jesus, and Milo Manheim plays Joseph. Among the other principal cast members are two big stars from the world of Contemporary Christian Music: rapper Lecrae, who portrays the angel Gabriel, and Joel Smallbone of the duo For King & Country in the role of Antipater, Herod's son.


Judging by all we have read and seen, musical numbers aside, the script holds true to the Biblical narrative of the Nativity, which the trailer rightly calls "The greatest story ever." Smallbone, in a promotional video, sums it up nicely.

"This is the story that turned BC to AD. Everything changed with the birth of Jesus."

Journey to Bethlehem releases in theaters nationwide on November 10th and is bound to be the top Christmas picture at the box office this year, though we will be interested to see how audiences respond to the introduction of musical numbers into such a well-known and venerable story. Check out the trailer below to get a better feel for the production...oh, and keep an eye out for those dancing soldiers.



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