Free Movie on Youtube: The Apocalypse (2002)



I just watched this and I felt, confused...  But, I guess confused is a good starting point.

"If you're not confused, you're not paying attention."
~Tom Peters


Starring Richard Harris as John the Evangelist and Benjamin Sadler as Valerius , I initially thought that this movie was made in the 1960s or 1970s because of the quality of the visual effects. It showed in 2002.

Contrary to its title, it did not contain the elements of a movie with apocalyptic pretensions as we understand it in the modern context. It was heavily spiritual and religious in nature and maybe, historical?

I haven't read the Bible nor have I taken interest in reading history for a very long time. With all the movies, novels and YouTube videos spewing a myriad of incarnations regarding the apocalypse - I somehow felt that I got a more genuine treatment of the book of Revelations.

And it depressed me even more.

What I saw was the story of a frail yet compassionate old man, who was stuck in the prison island of Patmos. Outside this prison island was the Roman Empire under the reign of the Emperor Domitian who brought about the second persecution of Christians. Which according to Wikipedia was not as cruel as it was portrayed to be in the movie.
The Book of Revelation, which mentions at least one instance of martyrdom (Rev 2:13; cf. 6:9), is thought by many scholars to have been written during Domitian's reign. Eusebius, a scholar of biblical canon, wrote that the social conflict described by Revelation reflects Domitian's organization of excessive and cruel banishments and executions of Christians, but these claims may be exaggerated or false. Many historians, however, have maintained that there was little or no persecution of Christians during Domitian's time. The lack of consensus by historians about the extent of persecution during the reign of Domitian derives from the fact that while accounts of persecution exist, these accounts are very cursory or their reliability is debated. (Wikipedia)
Add this:
According to Suetonius, he was the first Roman Emperor who had demanded to be addressed as dominus et deus (master and god). (Wikipedia)
Which makes all the more sense in the context of Christianity and the book of Revelations, because it was written with the concept of a charismatic and powerful ruler who thought of himself as a god.

Professor L. Michael White proffers a more thorough treatment here. An excerpt:
In the context of Revelation, the "beast from the sea" clearly refers to the Roman emperor, probably Domitian, who ruled from 81-96 CE. The "beast from the land," then, most likely refers to a chief administrator of Roman rule in Ephesus and Asia Minor, i.e., the "henchman" of the Emperor. This is probably the provincial governor (or proconsul) who would have overseen the political and religious operations of the area from his capital in Ephesus.  
Another possibility would be the High Priest of the Provincial Imperial Cult, who would have been a leading citizen from one of the main cities. The imperial cult in Ephesus was set up by Domitian in 89 CE, and this may be the crucial event that sparks the reaction of the author. Hence, the "mark" refers to an imperial slogan or seal used on official documents and commercial contracts.
"666" is most likely a reference either to Nero or Domitian or to some imperial title or slogan known at Ephesus. From other contemporary apocalyptic sources we know that they used numerology in this way.
With that said, I would say that the movie opens thought to a clearer and more coherent depiction of 'The Apocalypse' in the religious sense than any of the more recent incarnations of it.

Is it boring? Yes.
Should you watch it? Yes.
Why? Because it shows us a more placid interpretation of a relatively more well known book in the Bible - called the Revelations.

It certainly got me inspired to read more historical accounts of the era.

Popular Posts