It would be hard to overstate the importance of Paul of Tarsus in the history of the early Church and, for that matter, the last two millennia of human history. His extraordinary missionary travels and his explosive letters are crucially important to the shaping of early Christian thought and praxis.
Yet for all the Bible films that have been made from Hollywood’s Golden Age to today (the silent era was another story), it seems that not a single big-screen feature film has focused on St. Paul.
Writer-director Andrew Hyatt has taken at least one step toward redressing that.
Paul, Apostle of Christ, starring Jim Caviezel and James Faulkner, doesn’t cover the sweeping scope of Paul’s life — that would take a more ambitious effort, with a bigger budget — but instead shrewdly focuses on Paul’s last days, looking back on key biographical events in flashback.
I saw the film in a recent screening at New York’s Fulton J. Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, and Hyatt did a Q&A afterward with Faulker and the film’s producers, moderated by the Sheen Center’s David DiCerto. (The Sheen Center is where David and I shoot Reel Faith for New Evangelization Television.)
Afterward, I spoke to Hyatt by phone about St. Paul, making the film and the state of faith-based films generally.
Paul, Apostle of Christ opens in theaters today.
It’s not the unmade epic about the life of Paul of Tarsus many would like to see, but what it is is worthwhile in its own right.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.