A documentary of engrossing significance and presentation, under Oren Jacoby’s able direction, Constantine’s Sword, does exceeding justice to autobiographical pursuits of ex-priest, James Carroll as he travels the world and its archives to find answers he had not been allowed while within the Church. Looming larger than even the profound revelations he finds, Carroll provides more immediate address in current parallels to a past that goes all the way back to the earliest traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Ominously touching upon threatening trends to our own separation of church and state, expressly a scandal over evangelical infiltration of the Air Force Academy, he establishes a frame of reference for how institutions themselves begin programs of intolerance.
The virtues of Carroll as both an investigative prober and someone that can allow participants and evidence to speak for itself is integral to the value of this film. One can honestly say there has never been one quite like it. Moments abound throughout where the viewer will be touched by what is seen, from nuns paying homage to the site of where Edith Stein is thought to have left life, to survivors of utmost intolerance finding renewal.
This reviewer recently reviewed the latest version of The Day the Earth Stood Still. He found it unimpressive for a reason or two. The main reluctance towards granting it much more than that was the rather “tattered” point at which the alien, holding the fate of earth’s people in his hands, decides to reverse the elimination process already begun. This point was over consideration we might perform differently under extreme circumstances. Rather laughable.
But over acknowledgment of such efforts as Mr. Carroll makes in this documentary, that would have had vastly more than a ring of truth in it. For revelation that also inspires hope (when’s the last time that happened?) Constantine’s Sword is unique.
Filming is superb, choice of camera angles, lighting from choices in time of day, and placement of subjects within scenes is top notch. Documented sources are impeccable. For all ages. Top rating.