Anza-Borrego Desert has long been a popular location for movie and TV productions. With its stunning landscapes and rugged beauty, the region has provided the perfect backdrop for a variety of films and TV shows over the years.
“Last Days in the Desert” is a 2015 film directed by Rodrigo Garcia and starring Ewan McGregor as Jesus. The film is a fictionalized retelling of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, and it was filmed 100% in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California.
The Anza-Borrego Desert is a large desert park located in southern California, and it is known for its stunning landscapes and rugged terrain. The park covers over 600,000 acres and is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life. It is also a popular destination for hikers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Filming for “Last Days in the Desert” took place over the course of several weeks and the production team used a combination of practical locations and special effects to bring the film to life. The desert landscapes and rugged terrain of the park provided the perfect backdrop for the film, which depicts Jesus’ journey through the wilderness.
A few places they filmed at:
- Fonts Point
- Clarks Dry Lake Bed
It’s abundantly clear that the decision to film “Last Days in the Desert” in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park added a level of authenticity and realism to the film that would have been difficult to achieve elsewhere. The stunning landscapes and rugged terrain of the park helped to bring the story of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert to life in a way that was both visually striking and emotionally powerful.
The production team stayed at Borrego Springs Resort and filmed on location throughout the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The team worked with park rangers to identify sites where they could film without disturbing the local flora and fauna. The only set pieces used during filming were a Bedouin tent and a stone structure, the rest was done utilizing the natural desert setting. The crew, which consisted of 30 to 40 people used four-wheel-drive vehicles to navigate the dirt roads and sometimes had to walk a quarter of a mile to a film site that was not accessible by vehicle.
The heat was a significant challenge during filming, with temperatures reaching the 90s at one point. The crew also had to deal with relentless sand, which covered everything and made it difficult to keep equipment clean. Despite these challenges, the team was able to successfully capture the stunning landscapes and rugged terrain of the Anza-Borrego Desert to bring the story of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert to life on screen.
Here Are Images of Fonts Point and Clarks Dry Lake Bed From Our Visits:
An Overview of “Last Days in the Desert
The film received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising McGregor’s performance and the film’s beautiful cinematography, while others found the film slow-paced and lacking in depth. The film has a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 72 reviews.
Despite its mixed reception, “Last Days in the Desert” was praised for its gorgeous locations and breathtaking cinematography. Overall, “Last Days in the Desert” is a visually stunning film that offers a unique take on the story of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. While it may not be for everyone, those who appreciate beautiful cinematography and performances may enjoy this artistic interpretation of a well-known biblical story.
“Last Days in the Desert” follows Jesus as he travels through the desert, praying and searching for God. During his journey, he encounters an old woman who reveals she has a snake tail, and Satan, who takes on the appearance of Jesus and tempts him.
Jesus also meets a boy and his mother, who are struggling to build a home while the mother is sick and unable to eat. Satan poses as the mother and tries to convince Jesus that the boy is a product of infidelity. Satan reveals to Jesus that he can see the future and that God always tries to create a new iteration of history, changing some details each time.
As Jesus helps the boy and his family build their home, the boy develops a talent for inventing riddles, which Jesus enjoys. However, tragedy strikes when the boy’s father falls to his death while trying to retrieve a red rock from a cliff. Jesus and the boy find his body, but it is later burned. The boy’s mother tells him to leave, and Jesus watches his destiny in a bowl of water before leaving for Jerusalem.
On the way, Satan tells Jesus that he will offer help in Jesus’ final moments. Jesus is later crucified, and as he dies, he sees a hummingbird. The apostles bury Jesus’ body and stand guard outside of the tomb. In the present day, two tourists visit the same desert Jesus walked through.
Tye Sheridan as Son
Ciarán Hinds as Father
Ayelet Zurer as Mother