The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian artwork created by Tarlan

The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian


St. Sebastian     
Leading Archer
Michael Biehn
Nicholas Clay
Franco Citti
Urs Althaus


[From IMDB] Sebastian, the Chief Archer in the Roman Army, converts to Christianity. A favorite of Emperor Augustus, Sebastian's devotion to Christ eventually drives him to reject the Emperor's love, causing the Emperor to angrily order Sebastian to be shot with arrows by his fellow archers. The film retells this mystery play with a definite 'art-house' approach: an almost poetical use of language, singing, dancing, some homoerotic themes, and some special effects.

The film begins with a young man in Munich, an archer practicing in a stadium. He has a flashback and the film turns back almost two thousand years to the tale of Sebastian, the Chief Archer for the Roman Army. Sebastian converts to Christianity following a stigmata event, dancing on flames to save the lives of two brothers about to be executed for being Christians. The hot coals miraculously turn to lilies beneath his feet.

The Emperor is unhappy as Sebastian is a beautiful youth. He tries to seduce him but Sebastian spurns his advances. In a fit of pique, the Emperor orders Sebastian's own archers to execute him. They do not want to because they love him, but Sebastian persuades them that they must. As he dies, Sebastian sees a vision of Christ.