Here are some really great comments about The Nativity Story from Archbishop Vlazny of Portland, OR (the archdiocese where screenwriter Mike Rich and his family live):
This week I received a call from a diocese on the east coast asking about the idea of schools taking all the students to see the film... Absolutely wonderful idea!! After you read the Archbishop's comments, you may want to help your local parish sponsor a screening for students, seniors, adult faith formation groups, and so forth. I cannot think of a better way to contribute to ongoing faith formation in the "language" of today: film. Be sure to find a way for groups to get together after and talk about what impressed them most about the film. (You can find a list of the character's names at www.imdb.org and search for The Nativity Story.)
One way is to give each student or person watching the film a card (or a name tag) with the names of one of the characters on it (or a theme such as "journey", "faith", "hope", "gift"). Just before the film begins ask them to read the name and when they see that character (or notice the theme) in the movie, to watch the movie through that character's eyes. Afterwards, take a moment to let each student turn to the person next to him or her and say something about their character (even King Herod!) and what it means to them during this Advent time.
This is a way to give a "voice" to even the most shy person and to share faith using the film as a "space" for conversation and dialogue.
Enjoy the show~
PS You can check out the film study guide I wrote for the film at www.pauline.org
The website for the film is www.thenativitystory.com