The setting is Mamertine Prison in Rome where Paul has been imprisoned because he has been deemed a threat to the Roman Empire. Emperor Nero has sentenced him to death. Paul's long journey to this place has been eventful. At one time-as Saul-he persecuted Christians relentlessly. And then he converted to Christianity. That is when Paul became the persecuted. His path has involved degradation, torture and shipwreck. At Mamertine, he interacts with his jailer Mauritius and Luke the evangelist. Mauritius is curious about Paul and seeks to learn how this one man can have such a profound effect on the empire. Luke, his dutiful caretaker, takes this opportunity to write the Acts of the Apostles, a history of the early church. Meanwhile, the infamous persecution of the Christians under Nero is in full effect. As the time draws near to the date of his execution, Paul struggles with God's forgiveness for his sins..
When Luke leads the community of Christians in saying the Lord's Prayer, they recite the version in Matthew's Gospel (Matthew 6:9-13), rather than the less familiar one in Luke's Gospel (Luke 11:2-4). The two versions differ in a few details but are mostly similar. See more »
First off, know what to expect going into this movie. It is not a retelling of the book of Acts and Paul's many exploits. It is about him reaching the end of his life and passing the torch to the next generation of Christians, as they all grapple with the difficulty of following God in the midst of a cruel and evil world. Knowing that, I don't think you will be disappointed.
I rated this a 10 because I don't know if any movie has moved me more than this one did. At least, very few have. It's not perfect, but by the end I was sobbing uncontrollably in the theater. Specifically, seeing the suffering of the persecuted Christians, and especially Paul's struggle with lingering guilt over his part in that persecution, culminating with the final scene (which I won't spoil here).
I'll admit that some of the dialogue, especially earlier on in the film, could probably be better, as could the quality of some shots or the sound mixing in a few moments. But the acting is strong across the board, and the production design and costumes look very authentic. Most importantly, the drama is sustained throughout, and there are profound spiritual insights to be gleaned.
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