Book shares truth about the movie '17 Miracles'

Published: Thursday, April 12 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"MORE THAN MIRACLES: Extraordinary Stories from '17 Miracles'," by T. C. Christensen with Jolene S. Allphin, Deseret Book, $10.99, 128 pages (nf)

When T.C. Christensen's film "17 Miracles" was released last year, Mormon audiences embraced the compelling pioneer stories of courage and inspiration.

But many had questions about what was historically accurate and what was artistically altered.

To answer those questions, Christensen and Jolene S. Allphin, his historical adviser for the film, have written a small book titled "More Than Miracles: Extraordinary Stories from '17 Miracles.'"

"Whenever a sceenplay is based on historical events, viewers of the film frequently want to know if the events being depicted are factual or merely the screen writer's imaginary version of what might have been," Christensen wrote. "It should be noted that in some instances, I blended details of two or more stories, not to distort history but to achieve dramatic effect. Thus '17 Miracles' is not a documentary but rather an inspiring story based on true experiences."

Here is a sample of some questions addressed in the book:

Were two little girls truly spared from harm while running a gauntlet of agitated rattlesnakes?

Did a mysterious man really reveal a cave and a stash of dried meat?

Was a beloved daughter, left for dead in a shallow grave, actually brought back to life?

As the writer, producer and director of the popular film, Christensen offers a literary version of the director's commentary in 122-page book.

"It is my hope that this book will fill in a few of the gaps, answer some questions, raise a few more and invite greater admiration for the wonderful handcart pioneers I have come to know and love," Christensen wrote.

"More than Miracles" is available at Deseret Book and other LDS booksellers.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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