This movie takes place right before Paul is beheaded. Luke, is writing the book of Acts and is gathering information from Paul. Throughout the whole movie, the infant Christian church is facing unfathomable persecution in Rome at the hands of Nero. We meet Priscilla and Aquilla in their home and see their faith in action. There is also a sub-story of a Roman soldier dealing with the sickness of his young daughter and losing his pagan faith. Also, we get to meet Paul towards the end of his life and see the inner turmoil he deals with from his past life in darkness and the hauntings of violent memories.
I really appreciated this movie. The whole underlying theme of it is the hope only a Believer has which is eternity with our Savior. It is so easy to forget that this is not our home. Life in the USA is so comfortable that we really lack the longing our previous brothers and sisters had under the iron rule of Rome. And even when we do face hardships, Americans are very quick to blame God or to become upset with Him. There is nothing wrong to having strong feelings and moments of sadness when grieving a loss, but our pain should be different,(I Thess. 4:13) and hardships should not surprise us (I Peter 4:12).
The only problem I had with the movie is I couldn’t understand Olivier Martinez who played the Roman. I really had to figure what he was saying and I wished for subtitles (the only way I watch movies). I also hated how Jesus looked, he looked rather feminine. Other than that, I really enjoyed the movie.
The movie is gruesome in some parts. There is a Christian who is burned alive. Paul gets flogged. Christians are rounded up to be fed to wild animals. There are other scenes like this. This movie has a serious undertone, so I believe younger children will be bored with it. The violence is the reason for the PG-13 rating. There is no nudity or foul language. There are some adult themes.
I recommend this movie to all Believers and anyone interested in period movies. Due to the violence, I would only take my older teenagers 13+.