I somehow missed reading James Carroll's book, "Constantine's Sword," but today I saw the film. A friend and I were going to see "Brideshead Revisited." We'd seen the Masterpiece Theatre version but the film was something on our "short list" of movies.
Karen was waiting for me at the West Newton Cinema and, since both films were starting at around the same time, she asked if I wanted to see "Constantine's Sword" instead. Yes! I had a rough idea of what it was about, having read a newspaper review, but you never really know until you see a film for yourself.
For those who aren't familiar with either the film or the book, James Carroll was a Catholic Priest before leaving the priesthood, marrying and having a family. He had felt a strong bond with Catholicism and a calling to be a Priest. It was during the turbulent times of the Vietnam War and Carroll was one of those who protested the war. "Constantine's Sword" is Carroll's personal journey to discover more than his roots, to explore more than his past. He found himself confronting religious inspired violence and war as well as the infiltration of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado by the ultra right wing Evangelicals.
Carroll explores the very roots of anti-Semitism and exposes what the church did and didn't do. He also takes exception to the current President Bush's use of the word "crusade." After viewing this film, there is no doubt of what that word truly means.
Having experienced anti-Semitism first-hand for more years than I want to think about, I sat rivited as filmmaker Oren Jacoby, through interviews and following Carroll on his journey in this country and through Europe, exposes what many of us already knew, some only suspected, and most refuse to acknowledge. The truth is there and Carroll digs deeply to find it.
The senseless deaths, the destruction, the horror, all in the name of religion.
See it if you dare. See if you can move from your seat once the lights are turned back on. We couldn't. We sat there, still rivited and still thinking.
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation