I learn from James Kushiner’s column (The Fellowship of St James) that a new movie will be in production this year called Nicæa. It even has its own website, www.nicaeathemovie.com. I am absolutely certain that this is the first movie ever to be made about an œcumenical council.
It is being produced by a small U.S. company, Electric Avenue Radio, with only two productions to its credit so far, and directed by Jamil Dehlavi, an independent Pakistani director living in London known for films on obscure subjects. A year and a half ago in the Express Tribune (Karachi), an aspiring young Pakistani director, Jibran Khan, described his films about Pakistan as displaying an ‘erratic yet daring depiction’ of their subject.
While I don’t know what he will make of St Constantine the Great, I am not sure that the subject will respond well to ‘erratic yet daring depiction’—or that we are likely to get much theological depth from a production thinking in terms of ‘blood, grit and pageantry.’ Who would you cast as St Athanasius? Who as Arius? Will they even appear in the film?
Kushiner’s reference to the movie was in a comment on Eighth Day Books’ symposium, ‘Constantine, Christendom and Cultural Renewal,’ 16–18 January 2014 in Wichita, Kansas, where Peter Leithart, author of Defending Constantine, spoke. Leithart’s talks inspired Kushiner with the interesting and possibly disquieting thought, ‘Wouldn't you pray for the conversion of your ruler? What if your prayer was answered?’
I am looking forward to hearing more on the proceedings of this symposium, so far little reported in the blogosphere.
Occasional comments by a convert to Orthodoxy.