Spear of Christ

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Spear of Christ

Directed by Franz Leopold Schmelzer
Customer: ZDF/ARTE

The history of the big mysteries surrounding the Holy Spear, or Holy Lance. A spearhead that became a cult object, that wounds and heals, that decides the outcome of battles and de facto enables emperors to become emperors at all. From Constantine the Great through to Hitler, it throws a long shadow over history. How could a piece of metal acquire such enormous significance?
The Holy Spear, inseparably linked to 2000 years of European history, is the spearhead of a Roman soldier who according to the Gospel of St. John is supposed to have pierced Christ's side on the Crucifix in order to prove that he was already dead.

Next to the crown and the sceptre, it forms part of the imperial crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, part of the oldest royal treasure in Europe. Later revered as a relic, it brings prosperity and glory to the cities of Prague and Nuremberg.
Following the Reformation and the 30-year war, its significance waned. Rediscovered by Richard Wagner's Romanticism, misused by Hitler for the 3rd Reich and sent to Nuremberg, it is today on display at the art-history museum in Vienna. A cult object in the area of tension between religion and politics. The film depicts the moving history of the lance and tries to unravel its mystery.

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