Sword of God is impressively shot by Polish director Bartosz Konopka, and is fantastic with strange and icy sets, but the message of the film is vague and unclear to me. Things happen in the last act that leave me confused and unsatisfied, and I really don’t understand what the film was trying to say.
Two knights of a holy order are sent to convert the pagans on the island, but they come face to face when the pagans side with the two knights.
In the Middle Ages, a knightly order went to a remote island inhabited by a pagan tribe to convert them to Christianity. When they reached the coast after a long journey, there were only two knights left, the others were dead. Willibord (Krzysztof Pieczynski) is an experienced knight with a much firmer conviction of his beliefs, while Noname (Karol Bernacki) is a younger and less convinced knight. From the very beginning, the two knights find themselves at opposite ends of the quest: Willibrord sees his task as a crusade and Noname as a burden. When they meet the pagans who live on the island, they are plunged into a wild, insensitive and uncivilized culture, and it almost seems that the two knights are killed by the tribe. When the knights learn that previous knights sent on a similar quest died on this island before they could convert the pagans, they realize that their task will not be easy. Willibrord undergoes several brutal trials for the pagans (he walks through fire and survives, and when their shaman tries it too, the man dies), making him look like a god, so Willibrord’s Christian message is already beginning to be confused. As Noname’s faith is shaken, he begins to fall in love with pagan culture, and half the tribe considers him a prophet, while the same half considers Willibrond some kind of monster. This does not bode well for either side of the island, and disaster is inevitable as Willibrond views his colleague with jealousy and hatred.
Sword of God is impressively shot by Polish director Bartosz Konopka, and is fantastic with strange and icy sets, but the message of the film is vague and unclear to me. Things happen in the last act that leave me confused and unsatisfied, and I really don’t understand what the film was trying to say. Obviously, these knights didn’t understand the message of Christianity (that’s obvious), but it’s rare for a movie to truly understand the message of Christianity, especially when it’s about a holy order of knights. I enjoyed the presentation of the story, and the set and costume design and pagan makeup came off well, but the story of the film just couldn’t hold my attention as a viewer. But it’s worth watching, especially if you like knights against pagans movies. This might also appeal to horror fans, as the atmosphere is very strange and unsettling.
Movement Classics recently released a DVD (but not Blu-ray) of Sword of God. The film was shot digitally and the transfer to DVD is correct, but I find it odd that it wasn’t released on Blu-ray. Special functions are not included.
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