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But can we trust the gospel accounts? Does this portrait of a weak-willed Pilate stand up to historical scrutiny? Or is the hand wash a white-wash?
This film re-examines the killing of Christ. At the centre of the investigation is one man: Pontius Pilate. We discover that, far from being the weak and vacillating character of the Bible, Pilate was a brutal politician with a track record of violence.
In an investigation enriched with dramatic reconstruction the film establishes a case against Pilate. In Rome, we chart Pilate's military training and career, and trace how he won advancement under Emperor Tiberius through a system of political patronage. We travel to Israel, to the magnificent ancient city of Caesarea Maritima, from where Pilate governed the province of Judea, and on to Jerusalem, following Pilate's journey towards his fateful confrontation with Jesus.
With the help of expert witnesses we uncover compelling archaeological and historical evidence; we reveal serious inconsistencies in the trial records of the Gospels, discover witnesses to Pilate's brutality, and find rare archaeological proof of Pilate's existence. We build a character profile of Pilate; here is a man with the motive, means and opportunity to order the execution of Christ.
Armed with this new version of Pilate, we reconstruct what really happened at the most famous trial in history; dramatically re-enacting the untold side of the story. Does Pilate have Christ's blood on his hands?
Our investigation now turns to the conspiracy of silence that protected Pontius Pilate and the Roman Empire for two thousand years. Why was Rome's real role in Jesus' death covered up?
We reveal the secret agenda of the early Christian writers who detailed the trial and execution of Jesus in the gospels. We expose their motives for pinning all the blame on the Jews and show how this skewed accusation has resounded through the ages.
The gospel version of Christ's death is revealed to be fatally flawed, and finally Pontius Pilate stands centre frame as the man who killed Christ.