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PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST (2018)

Paul, Apostle of Christ poster

CAST
JIM CAVIEZEL
JAMES FAULKNER
ANTONIA CAMPBELL-HUGHES
NOAH HUNTLEY
YORGOS KARAMIHOS
JOHN LYNCH
OLIVIER MARTINEZ
ALESSANDRO SPERDUTI
ALEXANDRA VINO
JOANNE WHALLEY

WRITTEN BY
TERENCE BERDEN
ANDREW HYATT

PRODUCED BY
TERENCE BERDEN
DAVID ZELON

DIRECTED BY
ANDREW HYATT

GENRE
DRAMA
HISTORY

RATED
AUS:M
UK:NA
USA:PG-13

RUNNING TIME
108 MIN

 

 

Paul, Apostle of Christ image

A powerful and relevant biblical tale for our modern times, Paul, Apostle of Christ is an impressively made and portrayed story of forgiveness and faith during a time of fear and persecution.

These are dire times for many Christians. A look at the Middle East, China, North Korea, India and other territories show persecution of Christian minorities at disturbingly high rates. In some ways, it is part and parcel with the Christian faith that a believer will face persecution, just as Jesus Christ did. It is that environment in which Paul, Apostle of Christ is set: Rome 67 AD, where the great fire has destroyed half the city. Emperor Nero, the tyrannical ruler responsible for the destruction, has shifted the blame on Rome’s Christian minority. The violence upon them is swift and unrelenting.

Walking into this lion den is Luke (Jim Caviezal), a physician who has planned to visit his old friend and spiritual guide Paul (Richard Faulkner), the leader of Rome’s Christians who awaits execution. With Luke by his side, Paul tells his story that begins as a persecutor of Christians, to a convert of the faith he once despised. It is this story that will lead Luke to write the Acts of the Apostles, and firmly set the early history of the Church to spread throughout the world.

Traditional biblical films have a certain tone, a certain cadence, that one needs to adjust to when watching. It doesn’t take long for Paul, Apostle of Christ to settle into that rhythm, so engrossing its story and high its stakes. Director Andrew Hyatt (War Room) quickly establishes that this is a time and place of brutality for Christians that is shocking in tis violence, as believers are set aflame to light the corridors of Rome, while the screams of the tortured fill the air with stifling fear.

It all makes its story of forgiveness and faith that much more powerful, especially during these times where forgiveness and understanding have succumbed to bigotry, confrontation and suppression of belief. The power within its performances makes its preach that much more potent. Jim Caviezal, he who will forever be seen as Jesus Christ due to his stirring performance in The Passion of the Christ, brings a soul filled, commanding presence to his turn as Luke. One scene where he admonishes a group of disillusioned Christian men who want to take up arms against their oppressors, is the kind of goose bump inducing, lump-in-the-throat drama that represents the exact kind of inspirational, scripture cinema which the faith-based industry should always aim for.

Excellent too is Richard Faulkner in the title role. Christian history is filled with many examples of sinners turned to saints, yet none perhaps as striking and as inspiration as Saul of Tarsus, turned Paul the Apostle. Faulkner’s strong and dignified poise establishes Paul as a character who has seen both the depths of the dark and the grace of the light, choosing the latter while confronting the demons of the former. Faulkner is not a well-known name to the masses, yet his performance in Paul, The Apostle will no doubt hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Christians who will see this fantastic biblical movie.

 

****

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