The Next Installment In A Film Legacy - The Biblical Treasures of Turkey, Part Two
When the followers of Jesus moved to Antioch and established a church in a huge cave on a local mountainside, the Romans catalogued the name, for the first time calling them “Christians.” It was in Antioch that the Romans lived in sumptuous villas in a verdant setting complete with pools and fountains, gardens and waterfalls. “I was able to find many of the elements of the Roman way of life and bring it to the screen,” says acclaimed filmmaker Robin D. Williams. “Greek mythology together with the many aspects of the Roman world gives us a wide range of subject matter to weave into the origins of Christianity.”
Williams documents the travels of St. Paul and the birth of a major religion in the substantive new feature documentary entitled The Biblical Treasures of Turkey - Part Two. Thirty five years of Greek, Roman and biblical study, three previous films dealing with Asia Minor and three solid months of filming in Turkey have given Williams a storehouse of knowledge. “I could not possibly put the entire story into one film program. The solution was to create two completely different film programs. My purpose was to explore the actual cities and routes used by the earliest Apostles as they made their way across Asia in the First Century A.D.”
All this makes for a marvelous travel itinerary, Williams says. “I was determined to locate and photograph a particular Roman highway that St. Paul used to travel to Antioch in Pisidia. After a long hike overland with a shepherd as my guide, I found it clinging to the side of a mountain. I was so overjoyed I could barely contain myself.” Williams found himself filming a Roman highway that had not changed in over two thousand years. “That was just one of the highlights of this adventure. There was a new exhilaration every single day.”
Audiences will experience the same unspoiled scenery that people enjoyed in the First Century A.D. and meet many other great characters of history. On the road from Antioch to Tarsus, Williams says, “we meet Alexander the Great! We visit the underground cities where Christians found refuge from Arab raiders. We visit ancient Troy!” After visiting the underwater harbors of Antiphellus, Williams puts in at Myra, and introduces a bishop named Nicholas, the man who inspired the legend of Father Christmas, Santa Claus.
According to Williams, audiences will encounter a landscape of caves and strange rock formations at Lystra, where St. Paul was almost stoned to death. St. John wrote to churches in seven major cities in Asia, which allowed Williams to film the most significant geographical areas in the development of early Christianity, the seven churches in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. “Capturing the ancient quality of these cities on film was a daunting task,” says Williams.
“From the top of Assos, under the columns of the Temple of Athena, we gaze out at the island of Lesbos. The view takes our breath away. The harbor of Assos with ancient bollards still standing, is one of the delightful surprises awaiting the modern traveler.”
“The enjoyment of our films is to sit comfortably in the theater and relish a visual feast while floating through a vast array of collective memory. The audience has heard of almost every piece of information I am sending to them, but they just did not have a clear picture of where these things are located. It is my purpose to fill in these gaps, which ultimately helps all of us attain a cultural literacy. My goal in life is to create films that have a definite, lasting significance.”
Robin D. Williams has added another chapter to his legacy with The Biblical Treasures of Turkey - Part Two.
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