The plot of the film follows the lives of three Lancashire farm children who discover a fugitive hiding in their barn. The bearded man is mistaken for Jesus by the siblings, and he makes no attempt to correct the mistake once he realises that the eldest child is determined to protect him from the adults and police.
The film contrasts the children's innocent faith with the pragmatic and suspicious adults in the town. Word spreads amongst the children in the town, and remembering the story of Jesus’ persecution, all focus is on the barn and keeping it’s hiding occupant safe from discovery.
One of the children eventually gives the game away to her father by mistake after asking for some cake to give to Jesus. Ever the sceptic, particularly after ‘Jesus’ let him down, the youngest of the siblings, Charles, proudly denotes “It’s not Jesus, it’s just some fella”.
The fugitive is apprehended in a symbolic final scene.
My aim was to catch the essence of this film within the painting without focusing on the spiritual side of the story. For me, what makes the film endearing is how it portrays the commoraderie of the children and the innocence and optimism they hold within themselves.