Directed, Edited and Scored by Fritz Heede
Written by Nijole Sparkis and Joseph Atwill
Narrated by Nijole Sparkis
Based on the best-selling religious studies book “Caesar’s Messiah” by Joseph Atwill, this documentary shows that Jesus is not a historical figure, the events of Jesus’ life were based on a Roman military campaign, his supposed second coming refers to an event that already occurred, and the Gospels were written by a family of Caesars who left us documents to prove it. Besides Atwill, six other controversial Bible scholars weigh in, showing that the teachings of Christ came from the ancient pagan mystery schools, and that Christianity was used as a political tool to control the masses of the day and is still being used this way today. Studying this ancient era is immensely important to today’s politics, as we are at a similar paradigm shift.
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When we were first introduced to the book “Caesar’s Messiah”, our response to the idea that the Romans wrote the New Testament in order to control the masses of the day was equal parts belief and disbelief. The thesis made a lot of sense, and yet it seemed too outrageous in the face of the gigantic numbers of people who hold Christianity sacred and Jesus as a historic figure.
After a three-year journey of studying this subject more deeply and becoming familiar with the works of many scholars on the origins of Christianity, we feel that the thesis has much merit and deserves to be seriously considered as a likely possibility of what actually occurred in history 2,000 years ago. Though we didn’t wish to dismiss the positive teachings of Christianity, it is the history and politics of the way the religion came about that we feel are the real issue.
The challenge then became how to approach such a scholarly and academic topic as the analysis of ancient texts in a visual format in order to keep the attention of the audience. Thanks to the artistic cinematography of Fritz Heede and Marisa Maldonado, and the inclusion of classic paintings to illustrate scenes from the time period, we were able to avoid the pitfalls of re-enactments, which can tend to feel too concrete and forced of an interpretation of an ancient era. We were also blessed with interesting and passionate scholars who are a far cry from dry academics, being on the cutting edge of scholarship and in many instances challenging to the academic world.
As production progressed, we couldn’t help notice the immediate relevancy of the “Caesar’s Messiah” thesis to the unfolding of current day political affairs. It is our hope that audiences will open up to the possibility that the history written in official books is not always actual fact, and that religion is often used as a political tool to control the populace, even to this day.
Story of Berenice is a proof of concept demo created out of classic Hollywood films to illustrate the Flavian Thesis from the perspective of Princess Berenice, daughter of Herod and mistress of Titus.
Written and Narrated by Nijole Sparkis
Edited and music score by Fritz Heede