New Yorker Films
A review in the New York Times (February 2, 2012) of Straub and Huillet's 1975 film Moses and Aaron reminded me how common it has been for films to depict the biblical Hebrews as Bedouin. This film, however, is anything but what one youtube commenter calls a "sword n' sandals" epic, Hollywood style. The music is by Schoenberg, meaning it is in many ways the antithesis of Hollywood soundtracks.
And the Times reviewer, David Kehr, informs us that the directors "had come to prominence as the creators of a meticulously Marxist-materialist presentation of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, 'The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach' (1968), and the same systematic refusal of transcendence is at work here." And Kehr concludes, "more than ever 'Moses und Aron' seems like one of the monuments of 20th-century cinematic modernism..."
And yet, those costumes still remind one of Hollywood representations, don't they?
Check out this scene from the film. Love the dancing in front of the golden calf.