He's been shrouded in myth for centuries, but who is the real Saint Patrick of Ireland? This DVD explores the true story behind the legends and inspects the life of a real man who most likely lived in the 5th century. Includes enlightening interviews with noted scholars and captivating reenactments of Patrick's life.
More like 3.5 This one is hard to rate. For content, accuracy, and those being interviewed I would rate it as 5. For presentation of content I give it 3 stars. Narration and sound 3.5.
The narration and sound is extremely important to me when viewing movies, documentaries, or TV shows. When background music overpowers what is being said, someone is not not really thinking about the audience being able hear clearly. Headphones might help but when viewing with others it doesn't work. (Shadowlands was one of the worst for me.)
The content was very good as it tried to separate truth from legend, which can be hard to do with St. Patrick. By using two primary resources they relied too much on Patrick's humility to tell the story. One thing that was brought out which I have not seen done before was how the story of Celtic Christianity was indeed different than Roman Christianity.
The best part was the summation of Patrick's life as being one of obedience to his calling and understanding the faithfulness of God to be within as he carried out faithfully the task set before him. Added to this was the plan of evangelization by others who were called to follow after God.
Maybe one day we'll really have a completely accurate and well made documentary (and perhaps even a good film that shows the great saint as he really was). As some reviewers have already said, the documentary, the "reenactment," (the poor things) and even the narration is very low-budget and often unintentionally corny. (I wish the guy playing Victoricus' voice would just talk normal instead of his melodramatic, ultra-holy, nearly robotic delivery.) Patrick's voice, that is, the one playing his voice, sounds considerably better (like how someone actually speaks) and it's nice how the documentary has him actually speaking from his letters (although the translation used in the documentary isn't always accurate: for example, how his father or grandfather was a "priest" when actually his father was a Christian deacon and his grandfather a clergyman). Having the scholars and priests talk from time to time about Patrick helps because they're speaking normally and it gives us some nice breaks from "the reenactments" (which made me feel very sorry for the performers and documentary as a whole), but too much of their talk of the "history" of Patrick and what he did is colored by their Catholic denomination, style, and views. One of the priests, who is very well-spoken and intelligent, is simply interpreting Patrick (or remaking Patrick) in his own image or in the image and style of the Catholic Church, when in reality, Patrick's style of evangelism (and Patrick himself) was very unlike that of the Catholic Church. The documentary's accuracy about Patrick, his life, his faith, his deeds is very general (or slight) at best, but is not worth owning for those seeking more reliable and completely authentic information of the man and his faith. One reviewer noted that a scholar in the documentary suggests Patrick's spiritual lineage/connection is more closely related to Eastern Orthodox tradition rather than to Roman Catholic tradition, which is getting somewhat closer to the truth, but still isn't there. His Christian background (that of his father and grandfather) was that of "the ancient church of Britain, which had never come under the yoke of Rome," (quote from the late Dr. John Summerfield Wimbish). The Eastern Orthodox Church was once connected (actually unified) with that of the Roman Catholic until the Great Schism which resulted in the Rome Catholic Church being centered at Rome under the papacy, and the Eastern Orthodox being at Constantinople under the patriarch. How could Patrick been of the Eastern Orthodox Tradition when that tradition started at Rome in the country of Italy and made its way East, whereas, Patrick and his Parents were in Western Britain whose ancient evangelical church was emphatically different and untouched by the Roman? I want to encourage those reading this review and those who sincerely want to know more about the real Saint Patrick and the Christian Faith that he really believed (and really belonged to) to read a very enlightening and well-researched sermon by Dr. John Summerfield Wimbish. His sermon titled "Saint Patrick was a Baptist" argues not that Patrick called himself Baptist or that the ancient church he came from was called Baptist or that the churches he planted in Ireland were called Baptist: rather he argues (and concludes) quite convincingly, quite logically, and quite accurately that that is the Faith to which his faith, and that of his churches, most closely resembles, and therefore, must have been. (It should be available online for free.) Also, there's the scholar H.A. Ironside's book "The Real Saint Patrick," (available on Amazon) a little yet well-thought out and well-researched book that lets the blessed saint speak for himself (without the Catholic conclusions that just don't coincide with any of his letters).
I found this to be a very interesting steam. I had often wondered about the truth of who St Patrick was and what his life was like. I found that he was more of the Eastern Orthodox persuasion than the Roman church at the time of his life. He was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a youth, eventually escaped and later felt God calling him to be a missionary to Ireland---which he did. It was a very interesting view of Christian life in the 4th or 5th century. I think many people would enjoy this, especially if you like history and studying the Christian faith.
There was so much lacking in this documentary. It was very repetitious and vague. I realize they tried to stay with only facts that could be corroborated, but that left them with very little information. Perhaps they could have mentioned all of the myths about Saint Patrick, and where & why the myths may have originated. It needed more substance. Otherwise, it should have been a short, 10 minute documentary. That would have been better than 50 minutes of "fluff." Great attempt at accuracy, so I do praise them for that.
I loved how it spoke from Patrick's own writings. It felt very genuine that way. And I love how it showed us Patrick's faith, based on a very close relationship with the Lord, developed while he was a slave vs the the more political Roman version of the Christian Faith. I also loved the commentary of the priest's. It put many things into a different perspective and also made me very happy to see priestly believers who cherish and embrace Patrick's legacy.
Review of life of Patrick based substantially upon, and featuring, his extant writings. Low budget but communicates well and is inspiring and edifying - especially for Christians who believe in the living God and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit.