IMDb > Constantine's Sword (2007)
Constantine's Sword
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Constantine's Sword (2007) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 2)
Constantine's Sword -- No war is holy. CONSTANTINE’S SWORD is an exploration of the dark side of Christianity, following acclaimed author and former priest James Carroll on a journey of remembrance and reckoning that reveals the religious infiltration of the U.S. military.
Constantine's Sword -- Acclaimed actor Gabriel Byrne contacted us and recorded a moving personal introduction, available on the DVD of Constantine’s Sword. He also shared with us his broader reactions to the story of Jim Carroll in a heartfelt interview, here.


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Release Date:
18 April 2008 (USA) See more »
An exploration of the dark side of Christianity, following acclaimed author and former priest James Carroll on a journey of remembrance and reckoning. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A personal exploration and an institutional indictment See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order)

Liev Schreiber ... Constantine (voice)

Philip Bosco ... Gian Pietro Caraffa (voice) (as Phillip Bosco)

Natasha Richardson ... Edith Stein (voice)

Eli Wallach ... Piero Terracina (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel Berrigan ... Himself (archive footage) (as Father Daniel Berrigan)
James Carroll ... Himself
Karl-Josef Gilles ... Himself - Rhineland National Museum (as Dr. Karl-Josef Gilles)

Ted Haggard ... Himself

Gary Hart ... Himself - Former Senator, Colorado

Dustin Hoffman ... Himself (archive footage)
Karl Lehmann ... Himself - Cardinal
Kristen Leslie ... Herself - Yale University (as Dr. Kristen Leslie)
David Limentani ... Himself
Monica Limentani ... Herself
Peter Mazur ... Himself - Fellow, American Academy in Rome
Jarek Mensfeld ... Himself - Auschwitz-Birkenau Guide
Melinda Morton ... Herself - Former Air Force Academy Chaplain
Maria Amata Neyer ... Herself - Edith Stein Archivist (as Sister Amata)
Reiner Nolden ... Himself - Director, State Archive Trier (as Dr. Reiner Nolden)
Stan Obirek ... Himself (as Father Stan Obirek)
Elaine Pagels ... Herself - Biblical Scholar
Brent Parsley ... Himself - Youth Pastor, New Life Church
John Pawlikowski ... Himself - President, International Council of Christians & Jews
Claudio Parisi Presicce ... Himself - Curator, Capitoline Museum
John Rosa ... Himself (archive footage) (as Lt. General John Rosa)
Piero Terracina ... Himself
Amanda Weinstein ... Herself - Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force
Casey Weinstein ... Himself - Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force
Mikey Weinstein ... Himself - U.S. Air Force Academy 1977
Johnny Whitaker ... Himself - Director of Communications, USAF Academy
Leon Wieseltier ... Himself - Writer
Tullia Zevi ... Herself - President, Italian Jewish Community

Directed by
Oren Jacoby 
Writing credits
James Carroll (book "Constantine's Sword")

James Carroll (written by) and
Oren Jacoby (written by)

Produced by
James Carroll .... producer
Donald Cutler .... co-producer: Prologue Prods.
Raffaella Di Giulio .... field producer: Rome (as Fafaella Di Giulio)
Leslie Friedman .... associate producer
Julie Gautier-Holt .... field producer: Colorado
Charlotte Gladstone .... associate producer
Oren Jacoby .... producer
Ivette Löcker .... field producer: Germany
Alexandra Salomon .... field producer: Rome
Elgin Smith .... supervising producer
Michael Solomon .... producer
Betsy West .... producer
Original Music by
Joel Goodman 
Cinematography by
Robert Richman 
Film Editing by
Kate Hirson 
Sound Department
Rob Daly .... sound effects editor
Richard Fairbanks .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Fairbanks .... supervising sound editor
Jeremy Goldsmith .... sound engineer
Peter Miller .... additional sound (as Peter J. Miller)
Eddie O'Connor .... sound recordist (as Edward L. O'Connor)
Roger Phenix .... additional sound
Juan Rodriguez .... additional sound
Brian Vancho .... foley artist
Visual Effects by
Brian Oakes .... title sequence and motion graphics
Gregory Rusling .... visual effects artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Paola Barbaglia .... first assistant camera: Italy
John Bourbonais .... first assistant camera: Colorado
Nicole Erksmeier .... first assistant camera: Germany
Max Fischer .... steadicam operator: Washington, D.C.
Wolfgang Held .... additional photographer
Oren Jacoby .... additional photographer
Piotr Jagninski .... gaffer: New York (as Piotr 'Ski' Jagninski)
Pawel Kajszczek .... first assistant camera: Poland (as Pawel Kajszczak)
Paul Kaye .... gaffer: New York
Grzegorz Kuleta .... grip: Poland
Gillian MacBride .... grip: Italy
Mike 'Electric' Mervilde Jr. .... gaffer: New York (as Mike 'Electric' Mervilde)
Smokey Nelson .... gaffer: New York
Enrico Pergolini .... additional photographer
Claudia Raschke .... additional photographer (as Claudia Raschke-Robinson)
Elgin Smith .... additional photographer
Michael Solomon .... additional photographer
Joia Speciale .... first assistant camera: New York
Hossein Taheri .... grip: Italy
Brett Walters .... first assistant camera: New York
Mike Wilson .... grip: Washington, D.C.
Jeremy Wocker .... first assistant camera: Colorado
Editorial Department
Will Cox .... colorist
Will Cox .... on-line editor
Carter Gunn .... on-line assistant
Sandy Patch .... on-line assistant
Elgin Smith .... additional editor
Transportation Department
Andrzej Durman .... driver: Poland
Helge Jansen .... driver: Germany
Other crew
Aleksandra Adamowicz .... fixer: Poland
Marc Aidinoff .... intern
Juan Barrera .... production assistant: Colorado
Patrick Carroll .... intern (as Patrick Marshall Carroll)
Nicola Di Giulio .... production assistant: Italy
Robert Freedman .... legal counsel (as Robert I. Freedman)
Brigitte Hillebrecht .... translator: Germany
Katherine Hindley .... researcher
Wojtek Janiszewski .... production assistant: Poland
Frantz Jasmin .... production assistant: New York (as Frantz Jasmine)
Jordan Leland .... intern
Angela McDowell .... intern
Jamie Meyer .... production assistant: New York
Fulvio Pannese .... production assistant: Italy
Lionel Perez .... production assistant: New York
Natalie Picoe .... licensing
Julie Rubenstein .... intern
Amy Schewel .... archival supervisor
Maria Skapska .... fixer: Poland
Matt Vascellaro .... intern
Joshua Weinberg .... production assistant: Colorado
Jeffrey Yoskowitz .... intern
Raffaella Di Giulio .... production coordinator (uncredited)
Aureliano Amadei .... special thanks
Smith Bagley .... very special thanks
Jens Baumeister .... special thanks
Barbara Becker-Jackli .... special thanks (as Dr. Barbara Becker-Jackli)
Oded Ben Hur .... special thanks
Amy Binder .... very special thanks
Mary Boys .... special thanks
Keith Brace .... special thanks
Peter Broderick .... special thanks
Trish Brush-Krums .... special thanks (as Trish Brush)
Patrick Carroll .... special thanks (as Patrick Marshall Carroll)
Mary Daly .... special thanks
Arnold Delin .... very special thanks
Serdar Demir .... special thanks
Kelly Dougherty .... special thanks
Irvin Ehrlich .... special thanks (as Rabbi Irvin Ehrlich)
Alan Epstein .... special thanks
Theresa Fagan .... special thanks
Barry Fagin .... special thanks
Michelle Fagin .... special thanks
Marjorie Federbush .... special thanks
Elizabeth Fineron .... special thanks
Michael Fitzgerald .... special thanks (as Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald)
Erin Fitzpatrick .... special thanks
Abraham Foxman .... special thanks (as Abe Foxman)
R. William Franklin .... special thanks (as Rev. R. William Franklin)
Elizabeth Frawley Bagley .... very special thanks
Howard Ganek .... very special thanks
Konstanty Gebert .... special thanks
Marty Granoff .... very special thanks
Perry Granoff .... very special thanks
Eugene M. Grant .... very special thanks
Alex Gross .... special thanks
Martin Gross .... very special thanks
Richard Haass .... special thanks
Anne Harrison .... special thanks
Dean Heinz Heckwolf .... special thanks
Monica Herrera .... special thanks
Willy Holtzman .... special thanks
Eric Horowitz .... special thanks
Ashley Hubbard .... special thanks
Patricia Huhn .... special thanks
Jane Jacoby .... special thanks
Ann Kaplan .... very special thanks
Caroline Kaplan .... special thanks
Christoph Klinkhammer .... special thanks
Stanislaw Krajewski .... special thanks
Ron Kronish .... special thanks
Tomasz Kuncewicz .... special thanks
Agnieszka Legutko-Olownia .... special thanks
Abraham Lehrer .... special thanks
Thomas Lennon .... special thanks
Glen Lewy .... very special thanks
Daniel A. Madigan .... special thanks
Janusz Makuch .... special thanks
Mario Marazziti .... special thanks
Alexandra Marshall .... special thanks
Carlo Maria Martini .... special thanks (as Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini)
Matthew Mazur .... special thanks
Susan Mercandetti .... special thanks
James Parks Morton .... special thanks (as Rev. James Parks Morton)
Robin Neustein .... very special thanks
Harold Newman .... very special thanks
Samuel Norich .... special thanks
Petrus Novak .... special thanks (as Father Petrus Novak)
Padraic O'Hare .... special thanks
Thomas P. O'Neill III .... very special thanks
Anna Orla-Bukowski .... special thanks
Trevor Pears .... very special thanks
Mike Posner .... special thanks (as Michael Posner)
Andreas Rademachers .... special thanks
Theodore Randles .... special thanks
Timothy Robbins .... special thanks
Horst Roehler .... special thanks
Alessandro Ruben .... special thanks
Oren Rudavsky .... special thanks
Werner Rössel .... special thanks (as Father Werner Rössel)
Giacomo Saban .... special thanks
Julie Salander .... very special thanks
Lawrence Salander .... very special thanks
Chris Schwartz .... special thanks
Fred Schwartz .... special thanks
Cheryl S. Scott .... very special thanks
Myrna Shinbaum .... special thanks
Kathy Sloane .... very special thanks
Peter Sprunger-Froese .... special thanks
Stephanie Steiker .... special thanks
Wendy Strothman .... special thanks
Marion Lear Swaybill .... special thanks (as Marion Swaybill)
Theresa Swiebodska .... special thanks
Steven Tabakin .... special thanks
Eric Verlo .... special thanks
Bonnie Weinstein .... special thanks
Curtis Weinstein .... special thanks
Pam Zubeck .... special thanks
Susan Zucotti .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

93 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
With God on Our SideSee more »


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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
A personal exploration and an institutional indictment, 16 July 2008
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

The protagonist of this convoluted and intellectually stimulating documentary is John Carroll, once a Catholic priest, now a successful writer and the father of two grown children. The film dramatizes Carroll's best-selling 770-page 2001 book of the same name exploring reasons why he left the priesthood. Chief among these is the Church's historical role in the persecution of the Jews. According to Carroll, the New Testament falsifies what is known of history in depicting Jews as Christ-killers, and the Church's culpability all grows from there. Moreover Constantine, the Roman emperor who converted to Christianity, transformed the cross into a sword and Christianity got blood on its hands in the Crusades and the Inquisition; but it got a lot worse when Hitler came along and the Vatican stood by and watched. As the Kirkus review put it, the book 'Constantine's Sword' is essentially the "first 2,000 years of Catholic-Jewish relations retold as a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end—at Auschwitz." Perhaps Carroll's most eye-opening point is to remind us that the Nazis were Christians.

To appreciate the film, you have to flow along with Carroll's personal journey and also humor director Jacoby's sometimes tired methodology. Scene after scene is a trite setup where Carroll poses some question, goes somewhere, and gets canned answers from some local expert. It's a device that's been used thousands and thousands of times. Luckily the material is controversial enough to keep things lively anyway.

Carroll's father went from a Chicago slaughterhouse to became so successful as an FBI agent that he was promoted to Edgar Hoover's inner circle and became an Air Force general involved in high-level intelligence planning. Hence John once considered attending the Air Force Academy. So he tells us as he drives there--then dives into descriptions of how Mel Gibson's arguably anti-Semitic 'Passion of the Christ' movie was so heavily promoted at the Academy through evangelicals, cadets felt obligated to attend--and how Jewish cadet Casey Weinstein met with constant anti-Semitism, and how his father Mikey, also an Academy graduate, felt compelled to sue the Air Force for discrimination. Delving into the shocking penetration of evangelical proselytizing at the Academy, Carroll interviews the square-jawed rictus-smiling Colorado evangelical mega-church leader Ted Haggard, evidently a key figure in these machinations.

It's hard to recount in a few paragraphs how it all fits together; maybe it doesn't. No; it does. But many--particularly orthodox Catholics--would hotly dispute the accuracy of some parts. For them, the fabric comes undone.

Anyway, Carroll traces the history of the Emperor Constantine (voiced here by actor Liev Schreiber) as a seminal moment, when the state and Christianity were interwoven, when the Pope became a secular as well as religious leader. The cross became the main symbol of Christianity, with its bloody associations and its sword-like shape and anti-Semitic overtones (if you see the Crucifixion as the fault of the Jews), and the Crusaders went out and massacred Jews in a string of communities in the East.

Another story Carroll tells is that of St. Edith Stein (voiced by Natasha Richardson), a 20th-century Jewish convert to Catholicism who begged for protection from the Nazis in a letter to Cardinal Pacelli, but got no answer and died in the camps. Pacelli became Pope Pius XII, who was called "Hitler's Pope" or "Hitler's Cardinal" for his early friendliness to the Nazis and failure to speak out against the Holocaust. This is part of Carroll's personal story because St. Edith lived in Germany and Carroll's family also lived there while his father was chief of staff of the United States Air Forces in Europe. There were nine children in the family, by the way, which impressed the Pope when the family had an audience. Carroll's time in Germany alerted him not only to St. Edith Stein but to the holy relic of The Robe kept at the Cathedral of Trier, said to have been worn by Jesus at the time of the Crucifixion, which Carroll declares a total fiction. Did he think it authentic when he first saw it in his youth? How much did he really believe, and how much does he just choose to bring up now to strengthen his main indictment? That's not so clear. But What a tangled web we weave (to coin a phrase) when first we practice to believe.

The subject of the papacy leads Carroll to Rome and its ghetto--for which the Vatican was directly responsible, and whose history he presents along with some interesting personal interviews with members of old Roman Jewish families.

Carroll's own fraught time as a Catholic priest was from 1969 to 1974; the (disapproving) Kirkus review asserts that he "remains an angry 1960s-era Catholic." He was galvanized politically by the anti-war movement and stood in protests with Father Daniel Berrigan. His father, on the other hand, ever more deeply involved in the military establishment, headed the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Vietnam era, which led to conflicts.

Follow-ups at the film's conclusion include the information about Mikey Weinstein's death threats since he brought suit against the Air Force; complicity of high officials in the US military in religious proselytizing; the resignation of Ted Haggard from his mega-church under a cloud of scandal for drug abuse and a three-year affair with a male prostitute; and information about how the present Pope Benedict XVI has waffled on the issue of Jewish guilt in the scapegoating of the Jews issue.

Carroll ends with a speech about how the world of religion is a "lake of gasoline." If you pitch one match in it, it can fire up. In this context it seems a pity Carroll spends so much time about his personal concern with the troubled relations between Judaism and Christianity, when it is the old conflict with Islam that looms largest nowadays. This limitation is due to the fact that Jacoby and Carroll, even though they did some updating, are basically working with a pre-9/11 source.

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