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December 11, 2014

Review: The Red Tent Miniseries

The-Red-Tent

The Red Tent is a sweeping tale that takes place during the times of the Old Testament, told through the eyes of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob. Airing over two nights, the all-star cast includes Academy Award®, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Minnie Driver (Return to Zero, About a Boy), Emmy nominee Morena Baccarin (Homeland), Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Will Tudor (Game of Thrones) and Academy Award®, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment).

The miniseries begins with Dinah (Ferguson) as she happily grows up inside the red tent where the women of her tribe gather and share the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood. The film recounts the story of Dinah’s mothers Leah (Driver), Rachel (Baccarin), Zilpah and Bilhah, the four wives of Jacob (Glen). Dinah matures and experiences an intense love that subsequently leads to a devastating loss, and the fate of her family is forever changed. Winger portrays Rebecca, Jacob’s mother, while Tudor stars as Joseph, Dinah’s brother.

The Red Tent has sold millions of copies worldwide and has been translated in 28 languages. The novel is a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today and Entertainment Weekly Top Ten best-seller.

Produced by Sony Pictures Television, The Red Tent is executive produced by Paula Weinstein (Blood Diamond). Roger Young (Law & Order) directs from a script by Elizabeth Chandler (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and Anne Meredith (Secrets of Eden).

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Review

MaryAnn-2013Thank you to Shaw Media for allowing us this opportunity!

We were fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to view this mini-series before it aired on December 7 and 8, 2014. Riddled with jealousy, deceit, revenge, love, and forgiveness there’s something in this miniseries that will appeal to viewers.

I came into this series completely blind. Not knowing that this was actually a book titled The Red Tent by Anita Diamant which was made into this miniseries, I am definitely intrigued in getting a copy and seeing just how close to the book the miniseries was.

In part 1, the foundation of the story was laid out. We see how Jacob got his four wives, and we see the different kind of love he feels for his wives, although it really focused on the love between Jacob and Rachel, and Jacab and Leah. We are shown his many children, and witness his adoration for his two “favorite” children, Dinah and Joseph. Of course, you see the jealousy that is felt between 2 of the brothers, and their actions in both parts 1 and 2 were heinous and horrific!

What fascinated me in part 1 was how Jacob was able to love more than one woman. I don’t really understand the whole concept of 1 man and his multiple wives, so it was interesting to see how he interacted with his wives, and even more interesting still, how comfortable and accommodating the wives were with each other. But then again, this was back in the days of the Old Testament so was probs the norm.

We learn the significance of the red tent and why it was a sacred place for woman, and to be honest…I loved the idea. A sanctuary for woman when they have their menses, where they gather and tell stories and celebrate being a woman and the life that we are able to give.

But I started to really get into the show when Dinah was grown up, which of course is the basis of the entire show! The tale told in the point of view of Dinah. And what a tale she had to tell. Dinah is anything but shy. She is fiery, strong willed, and such a likeable characters. And the casting for her part (Rebecca Ferguson) was spot on. She was amazing. It was almost like this role was made specifically for her. She brought so much emotion and made the character.

We witness Dinah’s first love and the sweetness and innocence of it, and on the flipside, we witness her heartbreak. I don’t know anything about the Old Testament in relation to the story that The Red Tent revolves around, but that didn’t deter me from watching. We also witness the evil that her brothers deliver because of their greed. The visuals in the show were very vivid and did not leave much to the imagination, which is also another reason I really enjoyed the show. It was not sugar coated. And it’s because of this that I believe the male population will also enjoy watching it!

Part 2 continues Dinah’s story after she learns of the betrayal from her brothers. She also truly believes that her father played a huge part in the events that happened and so banished him from her life, and left the only life she knows behind…especially her mothers. We witness Dinah go through more trials and tribulations which are so very heartbreaking. Especially as a mother myself, having to witness Dinah go through the hell she had to go through.

It just seemed that no matter what Dinah did, she just could not catch a break. My heart went out to this girl. She has so much love in her heart, and all she has been surrounded now with is hate. What’s really interesting in part 2 is seeing what happened to golden child number 2, Joseph. In part 1, we learn that Joseph has been blessed with the ability to see things and interpret dreams. This in itself is what caused the jealousy and hate from 2 of the brothers, and they decided to take things into their own hands.

We witness how things can quickly be twisted around and the path that the viewer thinks is set forth for Dinah is changed. There were various parts in the show that left my mouth agape from the shock factor. Again, whether or not this was already told in the Old Testament is beyond me.

I will admit this to you…I ugly cried in two different parts in the second segment of this miniseries. I couldn’t help it! The emotions just flowed out of me, and I felt that the writers and directors did a fantastic job.

Not only was the story a beautiful one that really needed to be told, but the scenes were absolutely breathtaking. Again, the cast for this miniseries was perfect, and I don’t think I would have changed anything.

If you have not had the opportunity to watch The Red Tent, I would absolutely suggest you check it out. As I said earlier, I am definitely going to be on the hunt for this novel, and can’t wait to completely immerse myself in this world and in this story. I’m sure there were parts that were left out due to the length of the show, so I can’t wait to see what was missing.

The Red Tent cover

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s society.

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