Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
Armies in the Bible
What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer
ANXIETY, worry and fear—What does the Bible say? Answer
REVENGE—Love replaces hatred—former israeli soldier and an ex-PLO fighter prove peace is possible-but only with Jesus
FORGIVENESS—How can I be and feel forgiven? Answer
GUILT—If God forgives me every time I ask, why do I still feel so guilty? Answer
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
How can we know there’s a God? Answer
Was Jesus Christ only a legend? Answer
Is Jesus Christ a man, or is he God? Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
Ancient Rome in the Bible
|Featuring:||Cary Annen, Drew Annen, Nathan Ashton, Aaron Burns, Adrianne Burns, Andrew Burns, Andy Burns, Chad Burns, Marilyn Burns, Nicholas Burns, Raymond Burns, Erik Dewar, Brian Ervin, Wally Patton, Tim Quinlan, Howard Shepherd, Eric Spyres, Rebekah Wixom|
|Producer:||Burns Family Studios, Filmweavers|
|Distributor:||Burns Family Studios|
“The One who gave the vision still calls.”
On the eve of battle, the commander of a village (directly in the path of the marauding Saxons) called Pendragon says to his son Artos, “How do we follow our Master?” The answer Artos gives defines early the hero of the movie: “By following his purpose for our lives each day we glorify him.”
And so begins “Pendragon: Sword of his Father.” Using the weaponry of the day, including catapults with flaming missiles, the Saxons attack, and it becomes swiftly apparent that the village is outmatched. Despite valiant efforts by Pendragon’s forces, the fortress walls are breached, and the village is taken.
Artos, the Pendragon’s son, is barely allowed to mourn the loss of his family and the battle, before he is taken away to serve at the table of the Saxon’s leader Hengest. But the son of Pendragon is not captive for long; he escapes and finds help in the form of a mysterious wanderer who, sharing his faith, reminds Artos that our Savior “…was born under oppression, beaten, mocked, killed for you. That was the price for your freedom.”
This mysterious character can be considered an example of “deus ex machina,” but, as this is a Christian film, one might wonder if he represents something more. As Hebrews 13:2 suggests, “…some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Artos joins forces with King Ambrosius, as a minor commander, but his insight and battle prowess make of him a name, and soon the displaced villagers throughout the land rally to the cause and many to his growing cohort.
Second in command, under the king, is Cadeyrn. Both prideful and jealous, he will not accept the growing popularity of the son of Pendragon and will use his influence to drive a wedge between Artos and the King, if not his daughter, Weneveria.
The only real concern of parents with young children should be the violence. The violence is moderate, as can be expected for a film with medieval battle scenes. While neither blood nor gore is depicted, arrows and axes can be seen hitting their mark, which makes this inappropriate for younger children, as do the death’s of loved one’s, in this fashion. There is an instance of death by fire, and one of torture, that are both similarly non-graphic.
There is a scene where a Saxon, having been captured, is whipped. The film, however, takes this opportunity to turn the situation around by showing Artos put a stop to the beating and then tend to his wounds. This exemplifies the lesson the Bible teaches, in that “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” (Matthew 18:33).
It turns out that the Saxon prisoner was the same one who had beaten Artos when he had been taken prisoner.
When the Saxon realizes this, he looks up and asks, “Why?”
In perhaps the most poignant scene from the movie Artos says, “I once wronged a man. My deeds caused him to be beaten, whipped and mocked, yet he gave all he had to rescue me. He died in my place. How can I do anything less?”
What greater witness could he have given to our Lord’s own sacrifice than to tend to the wounds of one who wronged him and explain to him the reason why. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Visually the cinematography is on occasion breathtaking. The costuming is similarly impressive. No half measures were done with regard to these.
The acting, for the most part, is acceptable, considering this is an independent film with no professional actors. Some roles, including that of the King’s daughter Weneveria (Marilyn Burns) are, unfortunately, at times, unbearable. Aaron Burns (Artos) did a fair job in the principal role of the film, while Nicholas Burns (Cadeyrn) played his role exceptionally well, as the main adversary and villain.
The film’s pacing varied greatly, from intense during battle sequences to occasionally ponderous while the viewer is left waiting for the next element to move the plot along. The editing was at times overdone and at other times sorely missed. The film could have used some judicious cutting to trim the film to a more palatable length.
The character of Artos was, thankfully, not the anti-hero (full of faults) that Hollywood has been serving the public for decades now. Artos was a man of vision, with a faith that he wore along with his armor into battle. As he said at the beginning of one skirmish, “Oh Lord, teach our hands to make war.”
The film also takes this chapter from history in which to address the occasional need for war. People have always wished for peace, but men driven by greed, or desirous simply for power, have made many wars inevitable, as did the Saxon pirates of that era. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 opens with the “seasons” of life’s activities and that there is time for everything including “a time for war and a time for peace” (Eccl. 3:8).
“Pendragon: Sword of His Father” is one of the few action adventures made for the family. It is a good, though flawed, independent production, but the positive lessons it espouses through the faith of its characters are commendable. A welcome entry for the Christian audience it targets, it may disappoint viewers used to high budget mainstream films.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
Official Web site: PendragonMovie.com
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.