ROMANCE, DRAMA, HISTORY
EPISODES / DURATION
120’ – FEATURE FILM
NILUFER KUYEL , BASED ON THE BOOK BY HANDAN OZTURK
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Tasked by his Orthodox Archbishops to ensure that religious artworks never again darken the divine light of the Church, a young priest falls in love with a pagan harlot who secretly paints the most heavenly icons ever seen by man.
Time & Place
The 8th Century is accepted as the beginning of the dark ages for the Byzantine Empire, otherwise known as the Eastern Roman Empire, or simply Byzantium. It is the time of continuous wars and best known for its iconoclastic period when all religious art is banished throughout the Empire by the Orthodox church leaders as being an affront to the Lord’s word and the Bible’s teachings. As such, all icons, frescoes and mosaics have been removed from churches and monasteries to be destroyed and replaced by either simple cross figures or geometric designs.
Constantinople 780 AD, Emperor Leo IV dies and his beautiful widow, IRENE OF ATHENS, is crowned the first female Empress in Byzantine history. So that the Bible’s stories may be better understood by the illiterate masses, the Empress declares her desire to reinstate the religious icons prohibited by the Orthodox church. Shocked by the very thought of ending a century-long period of Iconoclasm, ARCHBISHOP SARKIS sends his young protégé priest, MELETIOS, on a secret mission to the mysterious ‘ant-city’ of Cappadocia to enlist the support of the powerful iconoclast ARCHBISHOP PHOCAS and thwart the plans of the Empress. On his arduous journey, Meletios becomes smitten by CALLANDRA, a beautiful young woman painted by her village as a pagan harlot but who is secretly a painter of the most heavenly religious icons ever seen by man. Finally understanding the true power and beauty of both iconography and womanhood, Meletios is emboldened by his new love and renewed faith to risk everything in a desperate bid with Callandra to end the brewing war between Church and Empress.