Polycarp is based on the true story of a young slave girl who was bought by a Christian family with the intention to welcome her into their family and introduce her to their Christian faith. Coming from a past of torment and hurt, it is hard for this young girl Anna to accept and understand the love and the ways of the Christian God.
Taking place in the 2nd century Smyrna, trouble begins to arise for the Christians as the Roman proconsul demands that everyone shows allegiance to Caesar as Lord. Anna doesn’t understand at first why the Christians don’t choose to comply, until she listens to bishop Polycarp as he teaches her about who God is and that He is the only God, the true God. He shows her that his devotion to God would never be exchanged for another person or god.
As the movie began, Polycarp devoted his life to making copies of the written word for it to be delivered to as many as he could reach. The Christians believed and explained to Anna that all other gods could not see, could not hear and could not speak, but the written word of God was in fact, the words of God. They were what they lived by.
Anna wrestled with fear and with her difficult past until she accepted and understood what the true meaning of life was and just how fleeting and unpredictable life was. She saw through the example of Polycarp and the other Christians, that it is God, the Lord Jesus Christ who is the one true God and the God worth living and dying for.
This story is a very powerful example of what it means to be a Christian and what has happened and continues to happen to Christians around the world today. Polycarp and his apprentice show what it means to suffer for Christ, standing boldly for their faith in the face of death, with the temptation of choosing to put someone or something else before God, just to save their life on earth.
I was impressed with how well the creators of this movie were able to recreate 2nd Century Smyrna so well. The set was really detailed in showing the ways of life at that time, including the challenges and the differences in the ways the word of God was read, delivered and shared.
I was also impressed with the acting. It was nice to see Rusty Martin, who played Germanicus, Polycarp‘s apprentice, in this movie. I think that he is a very talented actor, having watched him in Jackson’s Run (you can read a blog about Jackson’s Run here) and now again in Polycarp. I am excited to see how God is going to use his talent in future movies.
Polycarp is an overall great movie. It challenges your faith, what you truly are living for and has you asking yourself what you would be willing to stand up for in the face of death. It’s a good tribute to the martyrs of the past and great testimony for all of Christians today.