Movie Date: October 10, 1962
This man has been brought to me as one who misleads the people. He is accused of sedition and blasphemy, for which he should suffer death. My Lord Governor! My Lord Governor... ...there is a custom in Jerusalem, that at this season of the feast... ...one condemned man should be released. I remember the custom. Who shall it be? This man who many of you call their king? Or shall it be Barabbas? Release Barabbas! -Release Jesus of Nazareth! -No, not Barabbas! -Barabbas! -Release Barabbas! Crucify the Nazarene! They're mad, Lord Governor. Barabbas is a rebel. A robber, an assassin. Release Barabbas! Take the Nazarene, scourge him and bring him here again... ...and he shall be crucified. All right, that's enough. Take him out. Open up. Come on. One man to be set free. Set free? You ought to know the custom of the season. The Governor offered them either the prophet or you. He listened to the voices and they chose you. I make no comment. Come on. Get on the move. All right. Give us a hair of your beard. It ought to be lucky, considering how things have gone for you. I'm not used to the light. It plays tricks. If I was you, I shouldn't loiter. I'd want to see the back of this place before they change their minds. Get on your way, will you? -Who do you think you're shoving? -Get going. All right. I'm going. Move on. -There he is. Release the Nazarene! -Get out of the way. What are you standing for, like an idiot? What are you all hanging around for? Here's a fine sight. Six weeks and nobody's moved. What's happened then? How did you get out? This is a surprise, let me tell you. Is that my duck? It's him! -Sara! -There's the black knave himself... ...come back to his own. Cheating his death again, like a good boy. The clever one. How did you do it? I was released to celebrate the holiday as a surprise for you. Here's a day to celebrate in all my god. Come on and tell us the whole story. You've not heard? I'm the choice of the people. "Give us Barabbas," they said. Give me some food. Food for Barabbas. Food for a hungry man. How does it feel? How did you feel when they told you? The choice of the people, eh? Old Sara here dropping tears so fast all the slopping wine got watered. -Where did you get your luck? -What witch gave you that? Pass him across to me! -Touch him for luck. That's it. -I'm not taking chances. Get away. Where's Rachel? Shut away mourning for me? Fetch her down here. She's no good for you or anyone else. -She's completely changed, I'm telling you. -What's wrong with her? Bring her down. She's no good to my old rascal now. She thinks of nothing, day or night... ...except this prophet from Nazareth, who's on trial for blasphemy. Ever since she heard him preach, she has gone off her life... ...like a sick child goes off its food. Come on, you old empty belly. There's no food inside you worth vomiting. Sit down and eat. Barabbas, that girl's no good for you. Take my word for it. As morbid as a crow in a chimney. Bewitched by a prophet. A waste of a handsome girl. And she's gone to his trial looking like a widow already. She knows what happened to her prophet. That's the end of him. -Condemned, was he? -That's just it. They had the choice between him and me, and they chose me. How do you like that? The idol of the city. Tell you what. You're as good as a king, Barabbas. They call the prophet King of the Jews, but they chose you. Show your respects to King Barabbas. -Let's have a crowning of him. -Yes! -The wicked old King of Judea. -What are you doing? -Come on, give him his robes. -You be nice to your King Barabbas. More wives than Solomon and his subjects as ripe as old pumpkins. Here's your sceptre. Take it. Set him on his throne. -What's that? -That's the sceptre. Sit down on your throne. Kneel down, all you miserable scum of the earth, and acknowledge. Kneel down, you scum of the earth. Hail! Hail! I'll make laws for you that will tax your constitutions. I crown you, King Barabbas. Here she is, Barabbas, if you want her. Look here, Rachel, look who's been asking for you. The old rascal back from the dead. So, here she is. What's the matter with me? Why don't you look at me? Barabbas, let me go. Not until you've told me you're glad I'm alive. -I wouldn't wish any man his death. -What do you mean by that? Don't make me speak to you. -What do you mean by that? -Don't make me speak to you. That's a warm welcome. I couldn't follow any further. I daren't say what is still to come, but God forgive us all if he can. What did I tell you? She's no good to you now, Barabbas. Come on. I'm not here to be made a fool of. What's the matter? Remember how it used to be. Barabbas, don't you see what's happening? Don't you understand what set you free? I just got out of prison. I need to get the cramp out of my bones. That's what's happened. -I'm not the same. Nothing is the same. -You'd better try and make it the same. Barabbas, listen to me. For pity's sake believe me. He came from God, the man who's taking your place. You think I should have been killed instead of him? You think I ought to be dead? Barabbas, hear what I say. He came from God. That's none of my worry. God can look after his own. -And you can look after me. -No! That girl up there was always coming back with strange ideas. She's got her head full of them. Well, it seems she's got something to think about now, anyway. -I don't like the look of it. -Look of what? What's the matter? The sky. The light's gone out of it. I've never known it dark like this in the middle of the day. Get a light, for mercy's sake. Something's wrong with my eyes. I can't see. Something's wrong. Everything's black. Black as death. I knew there was something wrong when I saw that light. Tell me. Am I going blind? Am I going blind? What's happening? You know what has happened. Even the light has left us, now that we've killed him. Well, are you satisfied now? He's dead. Just the same as any other man. -We've seen it. That's the end of it. -He promised to come back. We shall see that, too. Only two days and he'll be in the world again. Look at his friends. You think they believe it? I tell you, you're mad. That's the end of it. Not tomorrow, but the morning after. How many days have I been here? How many days have I been here? Can't you hear me? What's the matter with you? What's the matter? Two days. Two days. Then today's the third day? Two and one make three. What's so odd? We'll see, then. This is the morning of the third day. Barabbas, where are you going? Now you know it's true. All I know is the tomb is empty. -Who moved the stone? -God moved it. God himself? You saw him do it? A power came from the sky. It was when the sun was rising, at the beginning of the day. -First there was the music of a horn. -Horn? Then in the air there was an angel. The whole sky seemed to dismantle. It was white, it was fire. It was white fire. He stretched out his arm. It seemed as long as a spear. The point of the spear went between the stone and the rock... ...and the stone rolled away. If only you had been here sooner and seen what I saw. My eyes are good. They see nothing but real things. You have to believe this, Barabbas. The Master was a man of truth, and he said this would be so. Did you see a prophet come out of the tomb? My eyes were so dazzled. I think I must have covered them. But when I could see again... ...a man and a woman were together in the garden. Then the woman was alone. And then she went quickly away. And the man was the same man they buried in there? He was like a shadow. The morning light was behind him. But I'm sure it was he. Shadows, light, that's about the truth of it. Here's the truth of it: Why do you think he should lie about himself... ...when it meant he would be killed? How do you know what he said? The priests ought to know more than you do. And they call it blasphemy. He said: "Love one another." "Love one another"? And they crucified him for that? Where are you going? There are those who can tell you more. There's a house in the street of the potters where they meet. You may find them there. Go and ask them. It's a trick they're playing. They took the body and hid it to go on with their story. Or are you afraid? Are you afraid of knowing what has happened? Are you looking for someone? You like to see it? The clay making itself? Some other day. What's happened? I heard there was news. The tomb's empty, the women said they saw him. Creed can have strange visions. Only it's true. Where's Peter? Who could it be? Don't open it. We should get out of this city. Wiser to go down to Galilee. Can we hide from the future forever? Let's see what is here. What if they mean to destroy us all? Leaving no one to tell the knowledge of the man. Can the word turn to silence? I'm not afraid of that. Where is he? -What have you done with him? -What do you want with us? -The truth. What happened? -What right have you to be here? You know what I mean. What are you all afraid of? What are we afraid of? You want to know what we want to know. -What is the truth of this morning? -I know the truth. You stole the body. You think we might have hidden it here among us. But something else has happened. If you find him here, it will only be if he comes himself. Through that gate, as you did just now. Don't you believe it. I saw the body. He was a dead man. If you were sure of that, you wouldn't be here. He's risen. I trust in him and wait. You're all mad. What do you think you're doing, making that net? There's no sea to fish in closer than Galilee. It's what I'm used to doing, my hands go to it. But the streets in the cities have to be the sea for me now. He made a joke about it when he took us away from the boats. He said that in the future our fish would be men. It was a serious joke. It meant he'd given us the word to draw men out of the dark sea... ...into the light. And you call yourself a fisherman? Do I have to tell you what happens to the fish? They struggle about, gasp and die. We struggle and gasp. You said something good. Poor fish. I, too... ...must struggle and gasp. And die. And die in order to live. That's where men have the advantage over fish. They can die to the world, die to the dark sea... ...and begin to live again in the light. That's what he promised, and what he promised has happened. But what has happened... ...we still don't know. He's come back to life. -He'll lead us to the new kingdom. -I'll believe it when he's before us. When I can touch him and hear him. You're always full of doubts without any cause. No cause to doubt that a dead man can come back to life? No cause. I can take you now to talk with a man who was dead. The Master brought him back to life. Thomas knows him well. Come, talk to him. Let him tell you. You needn't be afraid. Lazarus? Will you come to us? Here's someone wants to question you. Come in. I'll leave you with him. You can ask him whatever you like. They told me death is not.... Is not death. They brought me here to see... ...because you could make me believe it. Because you were dead, and were raised from the dead by the man. I mean... ...the Master. That is true. I was dead. And I know that he is Christ... ...the Son of God... ...who has power over life and death. What's it like there? You were there. -Tell me what it's like. -Like? -Like? -Yes, what is it... ...this thing you experienced? What is it? I have experienced nothing. Only death. And death is nothing. Nothing? No. What should it be? You want me to tell you about the realm of the dead? I cannot. How would you tell an unborn child what life is? It exists. But it isn't anything. To those who've been there... ...nothing else is anything either. No one has asked me this before. They have listened how life came back to me and gone away praising. Only you have asked about death. And none the wiser. We're two men who might be dead. Sharing his body. Life. Love one another. Listen, everybody! That's the word. Love one another! We can tell them about loving one another. -Leave me alone. I want to sit. -What do you want to do, sit and think? It's no good thinking. Come on, let's go and find a new life. -Where are you going, Barabbas? -To see what "brought back to life" means. Love one another! -Come on. -My shoe. Look. -Hey! Get up! Come on! -Leave it alone. Stay alive. It's all you have to do. It's not my fault they let him get killed. You can't hang it around my neck. I've as much right to be alive as any of you. You stinking fish. You're afraid to look at me because I'm alive. You, look at me. Look at me! It may be today that the new world comes. Today or tomorrow. But it will come, you will see. Every day you have promised us, it has never come. -It will never come. -It will come. I know it. Please, Rachel, tell us again what it will be like. You'd better mind what you say. Don't you know what can happen to you if they hear you? Anybody now caught spreading such stories... ...the Son of God, the Messiah and such, is to be judged an enemy of the State... ...and stoned until he's dead. It will be as though the Earth has become like a star burned clean. Everything evil swept away. We shall look up and there will be angels coming down from the sky... ...and they will put food in front of us and perhaps new clothes to wear. White, like their own. Or some blue, like the colour of the sky. Pain and sorrow will sink into the ground, and everything will be made new... ...because the Son of God has risen from the dead. The world has become his kingdom. There's no truth in any of it. I know this woman. She doesn't know the difference between what is real... ...and what she dreamed in her sleep. Don't you listen to her. She's raking up trouble. Nothing but trouble. Trouble for you... ...if you won't turn and listen to the sounds that have come. He knows but is afraid to believe it. Look at you, Barabbas. How can you see or hear what's to come? It will happen, whether you take part in it or not. He's right. It's dangerous talk. They'll pull down our homes, drive us out. Better listen to this man. -Let's hear what the prophet said. -Don't leave. Where are you going? To where the lepers are, to tell them to be ready for the freedom that's coming. -She's going among the lepers! -Stop her! She's going to set the lepers free. -Don't let her go among the lepers! -Don't let her set the lepers free! You have no right to go among the lepers! Look out, it's a temple guard! We don't want the lepers to be free! A charge has been lodged against this woman. -She must be questioned. -We heard she preaches blasphemy. Bring her to the temple and we will judge her. -Take your dirty hands off her. -Don't take her! She's done no wrong. Don't take her away. Rachel! For blasphemy, and spreading blasphemy, this woman is condemned. For stirring up evil matters among the people... ...for misleading their minds and denying the wisdom of authority. For her sins, she has been condemned to death by stoning. Let the man who accused her and was found just in his accusation... ...cast the first stone. What must I do? Take this stone. Come on. Throw it at her. Why should I throw? -I've nothing against her. -You accused her. -The law gives you the first stone. -It was you. Or you'll find yourself there beside her. Throw quickly. If you wait, I may be afraid. You don't have to think of Barabbas any more. He's not coming back. And if he did, we'd know what to do with him. You're still afraid of him because he used to roar at you like a brass bull. You can't stand up to him even when he's gone. He's gone to the devil once and for all, I can tell you. He's lost his nerve. He's creeping about the city like a shivering priest. Why do you think he's not come back? Because he's afraid to stir hand or foot. -We don't know yet, he won't come back. -Who cares if he does? We got a man here who can hang him in his own guts. He came out of that prison mad. Acquitted but mad. We'll soon see it then. So, you remembered the way to get here. Given you up this past week. You'll find things altered. What's over is over. I remembered the way. Bring them across. God's curse on you! The money is sacred! It belongs to the temple! -The god of battle will destroy you! -Blasphemy! You hypocrites. I'll kill you both. What are you doing? Here's all the treasure we wanted. Come away! I'll kill you the way you had her killed. It seemed to me at the time, Barabbas, when you were given your liberty before... ...it wasn't a fortunate exchange. They were calling for death and disorder when they called your name. This is what I thought and this is what has occurred. They put the scourge back into the fist. By that I mean you and your life. And many men have suffered and died in consequence. The other man, too. They're dying because of that. This is a local matter, which I hope will soon be adjusted. The shock and fear of an unreasoning fanaticism will pass. But the appetite to destroy... ...which, alas, the human being shares with the wild beast, is always with us. And it has rigorously to be disciplined in the name of civilization... -...and according to the law. -That's what you say. But I tell you, whichever side of the law we're on, we're the same men. You and your kind, and me and my kind. How else have you lived except my way? What we haven't got, we go out and take. Let him speak. How else have you lived except my way? Whoever's against us or gets in our way, we get rid of. My knife may have bitten a few throats, but what about your weapons? They've split thousands upon thousands. If I've taken a passing woman to myself... ...your armies have looted and raped across continents. And have been called the glory of the earth for doing it. You were born according to the law and raised according to the law. I was born by a girl thrown out of a brothel... ...who gave birth and cursed me before she died. But I tell you, we belong to the same herd. Unfortunately for you, Barabbas, the law is indispensable. The law is the pass and permit to life in this world. You were without it. However, the law here tells me... ...that a man released by the will of the people at a holy festival... ...cannot thereafter be given a capital punishment. You can't kill me? Easier on you if we could. I sentence you to transportation for life, whatever that's worth... ...to the sulphur mines on the island of Sicily. I can't... ...be killed. He meant me to live. Deliberately he did it. No killing Barabbas. No death for Barabbas. He died in my place. The death has been paid. He's taken my death. That's it. He's taken my death. That light, that wasn't light. The dark, that wasn't dark. That wasn't dark, that was life. -That was life. -Take the man away. You'll die and rot, but I'll live forever! I've got my life and you can't take it! You stinking fish! I've got my life and you can't have it! I've got my life! -Well, which are you? -I'm Scorpus. That means nothing, idiot. What's your number? -563. -That's better. -Who's the god? -The divine Emperor Tiberius. You have the privilege of being his property. Move. Go on, move. That's all. Move on. Next two. Put your back to it. Move. Get your feet on the ground. What are they doing? They're sending us down to the next level to make room for you. That's how you know how long you've been here... ...by how deep you're down. They break you in gradually to get used to the dark. Wait. You've gotten used to the dark. Did it take long? Long enough. It's got into me. Come here. What do you see? You're blind. Sulphur burns. Dig. Here. You've got a partner there that seems to know how to live forever. Better learn from him. How long has it been? Who was emperor then? Tiberius? That was long ago. Almost in another world. Here, I'm called Sahak. That's mine. Here. Move! You make this even a worse hell than it is. You don't care how I got here... ...but I'll tell you. The ship I was serving on took on a cargo of slaves. Some of them got free. Slipped over the side, during my watch. So, the captain put the chains on me. What about your world? What's your name? -I asked you what your name is. -All right. If it's going to keep you quiet. Barabbas. What are you saying? Barabbas. What's the town you came from? Jerusalem. Are you the man they acquitted? What is that to you? Chained to you, of all men on Earth. That's what I like to see, devils and beasts going for each other's throats. Here's a head of you to hate each other. Now work, you crazy dogs. Let's see you working. Work! Get out! Move! You hate my name. You hate the sound of it. You weren't even in Jerusalem, but you hate my name. That's right. We hate it. What does it matter? What does it matter to you? -You know who was killed in your place? -Still that? So, why shouldn't we hate your name? I thought what he said was to love one another. I can't imagine... ...he expects a man to have a spirit... ...as strong and patient as a dray horse. It was only something I was told. If you think I got the best of it, you stay here for a generation or two. We've got a special duty for you two. This'll show you what happens to fighting mongrels. Come on. Why isn't it all forgotten? That's what I don't understand. Who's been spreading things about? Keeping that tale alive all these years? What could kill it? When you think it was God's will come to Earth to show what he is. I can see the reality of that. Which is why the name of the Master goes on growing in the world. I began to meet it wherever I sailed: Phoenicia, Cyprus, Greece. Even at the Port of Rome. I began to understand what it meant. But... ...it's a tough demand, the will of God. I'm a poor hand at it. And look where I've got us now. Even though I've got his sign scratched on the back of the Emperor's head. It means I belong to him, not to the Emperor. It's the sign he has put on us all, if we give way enough to see it. Look at this. There's the shape of the cross. Keep your God to yourself. Why did you come here and rake up old lies about killing God? What's going on down there? Move yourselves or I'll leave you to rot. Pull! You think what it's like to me. You're the only man I've met who saw him. You were there at the beginning, and you won't talk. You won't tell me. -What are you afraid of? -Nothing I'm afraid of. Then you can tell me. You see the darkness that went over heaven and Earth when he died? Suppose I did. The man died in a dust storm, the same as anybody's death. Suppose his tomb was empty. Can't a dead man be taken away? You want the truth? I'll give it to you. That's all of your God you'll get out of me. Here, what's the matter? Come on, get up. If they see you can't work they take you and you won't come back. Hey! Away! All right, wake up. -Come on. Move out, all of you. -Get on your feet. You've had your sleep. -You two, get your feet on the ground. -Get out of there. Come on. Move! Root yourselves out! Move, I say! Wake up. All right, there's work to be done. -You've had enough sleep now. -Wake up. Come on, you! You, over there. Wake up, you hear me? -Get on your feet, I say. -One dead man here. I said get on your feet, all of you. Now come on. Up on your feet. -You've got to look as if you can work. -What's the matter with you? You can't stand up? Can't work? I can work. Here, this one's no use. -How many survivors? -None, sir. There can't be any. -It was like the end of the world to them. -The end of the underworld. -What did you say, sir? -Nothing. Survivors! Over here. Survivors. Get ready to receive survivors! Away. Pull! When they've recovered, put them to work in the fields. I can taste the salt in the air. Every breath of wind is full of the sea. I thought I could never love it better than I did. But, oh, glory! After the darkness of the mines... ...l could go and drown in it like a man besotted. Now, are you glad to live? What? Like a damned ox? Salt me down and I'd praise God even for this. How many times were you swindled in those foreign ports? You must've been the easiest game they ever got their hands on. -Why is that? -You'd fall for any trick. One smile... ...and you trust the world that half kills you. Yes, I trust it. It has to be hard going... ...or else how will the strength come that God has wanted? God should make himself plain or leave me alone. Am I the one who lets himself be swindled, or you? Every time he came near, you refused to believe it. But it's never been out of your mind. What other man's death could have troubled you so long? Stop there. Pull over to the side. Rock to be carried. Here. It's a poor scratching, but the true sign. Now will you leave me in peace? All right, we go on. Wait. Julia, there are the two men I was telling you about. Send for them, Rufio. I want to see them. -Bring those men over here to us. -Very good, sir. Stop! These two. Take them off the plough. Two men so strangely come up from the underworld. Twenty years in the mines, the old one. Indestructible. I heard so. You've earned the air you breathe, you two, by sheer good fortune. -What are your names? -Sahak, sir. -And yours? -Barabbas. What's your age? What does it matter? Indeed, what should it matter? We understand you mean to live forever. I must touch them for the luck that's in them. My wife thinks your merit is contagious. All right, we don't want to hold up the work. Back now. It's from the Emperor. It seems the gods approve your superstition. We're to call to Rome. -To Rome? What does it mean? -I'm to enter the Senate. -We're to rise in the world. -Rufio. Rome! It's true. They are charmed. We must always take them with us. A good thing I touched them. I see, their success, not mine. Nothing but amiable days from now on, and knowing everybody instead of nobody. -When shall we go? -Ride with us. I'll give you the answer. How wretched to arrive when all have gone to the mountains.... Look over there. Well, here we have to leave your luck to learn its business. What do you mean? Why do we come here? They cannot fight yet. They must first learn the skill. And so they will. But here we have to deliver them over. Let's hope they won't disgrace us. When a charmed life turns professional, we can expect great things. Flacus, the Commander. You honour Rome and us. Our happiness is all here, Commander. Unsurpassable. The Emperor has given him his freedom three times. There's the third staff of liberty in his hand. Always he prefers to come back. He knows his empire and has the sense to keep it. Keep it he does. He's taken a fair toll of them. Torvald, the Senator Rufio and his lady. I'll take this life. Can't a man be made mad by the smell of blood? A man can understand this. To throw the net, hold it to your right, like this. Then throw from the tips of your fingers, like this. Your places now. One here, you here and you over there. Now, start your practice. Throw your nets. What's this? Have they mistaken this place for an old men's hospital? The grey-haired one? They say there's something remarkable about him. Nothing can kill him. Show me what you can do, grandfather. What do we do with aging fish, grandfather? It's time he was thrown to the gulls. Let me be. Hit! One! Hit! Two! You move on. Bring out the first group of gladiators. You remember me? You drew the sign of the Master beside my plate. How did you know I carried the sign? Several days I've watched you breaking the bread. Can we speak freely? He was there in Jerusalem. He knew the Master. God be praised and keep you safe. The days have been getting darker for us. Persecution increasing. The Emperor wants to destroy every trace of us. But tomorrow, when the games are over and the sun is down... ...discipline will be lax... ...and there may be a chance for me to lead you to where we meet. The Master's disciple, Peter, is here in Rome. Seldom enough I find my way there, some way off to the catacombs. The catacombs? Surely it's the dead who meet there. It may seem to you that the faith is buried. But so is the seed before there can be a harvest. First group, assemble. You shall see tomorrow the life we keep there. First group, assemble. -Did you hear him, Barabbas? -I heard. One, two, one, two.... To your fighting places. Go. When you've taken up these positions tomorrow... ...the trumpets will sound. And from above you, there... ...the white cloth will be thrown into the arena. When it touches the ground, the contest will begin. To make sure you understand, this is the way it will happen. Kill him! Kill him! -That's an angry crowd. -They want blood. They were driven to a frenzy by Sahak, who wouldn't kill his man. If the Emperor were here, he wouldn't have had a choice. Wait till tomorrow. He'll get his quota of killing, if you're lucky to win. -Not one life will he get from me. -Won't he? Say that to the Emperor. He will teach you the ways. -When he says death, death it is. -The true God says life. -I only answer to him. -Hark at this man. By God, if he contradicts the Emperor.... -Who do you call your God? -The only one. The rest are inventions of fear, tales taken from the past... ...they can no more help you than this breast can bleed. Put 'em down. -Insulting the gods before we go fight. -What revenge will Mars take? None at all. He doesn't exist. Mars doesn't exist? What do you mean, he doesn't exist? Will you keep your mouth shut? The real God is greater than any man's thoughts can imagine. He made life as deep and strong as the sea. Your gods are as shallow as a reeking pond. He's above us and around us, in us. Like the breath in our bodies. And he has one law that will break our pattern. The law is love. Whatever we do that breaks that law condemns us. And so that we should see what his love is... ...he sent his son to live the life of a man. To show that God understands the life he has made. -Who spun you this? -What do you want us to do? What good will he do us in the arena? We'll lose the goodwill of the gods we know. Tomorrow in the arena, show the Emperor that we know what life's worth. Throw away your weapons. Do you think all the things of the Earth and the heavens... ...have been made for no other reason except we should eat and make money... ...and spawn children and kill and die? What a purpose for creation! If anything's beyond belief, that is. God said, "Burn away the old world... "...and let a new one rise from the ashes." As the Son of God rose from the dead, he died for us. Ask Barabbas here the truth of what I tell you. He saw with his own eyes the Son of God when he lived among us. Saw him die. Was there, in the garden, on the third morning. You saw him, Barabbas? -Tell us what you saw. -What happened? A long time ago I saw a man. Some people say he was... -...the Son of God. -Enough! You've condemned yourselves. I charge you with sedition and stirring up mutiny. You're both under arrest. Take them out and put them in chains. Move now! Let me be sure you understand the seriousness of the charge against you. Not only with holding views proscribed by the State... ...for which the punishment is death, but of recommending those views... ...to men sworn to the State's service. What is more, you've betrayed your faith to me... ...who brought you to this city... ...and laid me under possible suspicion of connivance in the eyes of the Emperor. The prospect is black for you. You know what this is? -The stamp of the Roman State. -Which means that you're Rome's property. What's this cut here? The sign of my master. -Who do you call your master? -The one who is my lord. -The Son of the Father. -In other words, the Christian sign? A religion which sets itself up to menace government and order. Which denies the divine authority of the Emperor. Which preaches that the slave is equal to the free man... ...and would reduce society to anarchy. A rebellious, insufferable doctrine. Give me a direct answer. Do you belong to the State? I belong to the Lord, my god. So, you also believe in this god? Tell me, do you? You don't? Then why do you bear his name on your disc? Isn't he your god? Isn't that what the inscription means? I have no god. I don't understand. Why then do you bear this sign of Jesus Christ, scratched on your disc? Because l... ...tried to believe. I'll give you the opportunity to recover your senses. If you'll admit publicly to the men you spoke to... ...that all these things were lies, you may save your life. Will you do this? That would be to lose my life, not save it. What I am is his. But isn't life dear to you? Yes, it is. And you understand the cruel death that punishes mutiny and sedition? What do you choose? I choose my god. Then there is no more I can do for you. Guilty of the charge. Execution at sunrise. You're as mad as your god. You, come here. Unwise to carry around with you what you don't believe in. It may be the Master means you to live. He may have some greater need of you. Some other purpose, Barabbas. -Something else. -Take him away. Guards. Now you'll have to be worth two men to take his place. You may go. You are to witness the punishment of this man... ...so that there can be no doubt in your mind... ...that the words he spoke to you were a gross breach of the law. An iniquitous crime against the State. Not only lies, but treasonable lies... ...which were not only aimed at spreading rebellion among you... ...but also to pervert your minds... ...from those acceptable religions on which the State is built. Any man who thinks that those words are harmless... ...or thinks that he can repeat or conform to such words as this man spoke... ...let him take warning from the punishment you are about to witness. Long live the Emperor! Proceed, Torvald. Positions. Ready. Throw. Traitors and fools! You'll wish this was better done. Kill him! Kill him! Gladiator Barabbas, you're becoming quite a legend among us, I hear. For your remarkable persistence in life... ...we have a traditional answer to this public acclaim. We make you a free man. We give you your liberty. Here is the symbol of your freedom. I brought him to you. This is where he would have wanted to be buried. Our brother Sahak. So you had to carry your dead conscience here. Did he have to die before you cared about him? Are you more concerned with his body than his life? You were willing to let him go to his death alone. Why should you help him now he doesn't need you? How could I have helped him by being killed? He made his own death. What good has it done? I had to go on living, he said. -There was something I still had to do. -Barabbas, why should you believe it? When the light shone, you wouldn't accept it. When the dark came, you denied it. When the spirit of God beckoned, you refused it. When Sahak says your life is kept for some purpose... ...why should you believe it? To make a gag for your conscience, is that it? You believe it because it suits you. Or maybe if Sahak stood before you now then you would say you believed. You would repent and love God. It would be easy. But what strength would your belief have then? What would it matter? Jesus of Nazareth was killed instead of me. There must have been a reason. Why me? Why did he choose me? Where have you gone? You! Where are you? Wait for me. Wait! You wait! For God's sake, where are you? Show me the way! I'm lost! Which way shall I go? -What's happening? -Rome is burning. Can't you see? Rome is burning. -What happened to make the fire? -The Christians tried to burn down Rome. -Move! Move that case. Come on. -Christians? -The Christians are burning Rome! -It's the Christians! Fire! They're burning away the old world. The new kingdom is coming. God. You won't find me failing this time. What are you doing, madman? Fire of God destroying the old world. The hour has come when all is to perish. -Are you a Christian? -Yes, I am. And I'm ready for Him! The whole world will soon be ablaze. Do you hear that? We're burning the way. We're ready for his coming. -Take him away. -The Master! -The Master's coming to build a new world. -Away! Let me go! I must make ready for his coming! Let me go! Here! Get yourself out of this one. Here's one of your kind who was caught in the act, setting light to a storehouse. He admits he's a Christian, burning the city to start a new kingdom. The only honest man among you. Who are you? We've never seen you before. Is it true? Were you setting fire to a storehouse? Yes. -We've never seen you before. -Who are you? My name is Barabbas. -Barabbas, the robber. -Barabbas, the acquitted. This burning city is no work of ours. This isn't how the new kingdom is going to be made. You were wrong. Who are you to tell me I'm wrong? Many years ago we spoke together. You remember? No. You asked me why I was making a net so far from the sea. Jerusalem. The street of the potters. You were mistaken of us then as you are again now. We didn't set fire to the city. You've done the work of the wild beast, the Emperor. -Are you a lunatic? -It was his fire, you fool, not God's. Why can't God make himself plain? What's become of all the fine hopes? The trumpets, the angels? All the promises? Every time I've seen it end up the same way, with torments and dead bodies... ...with no good come of it. All for nothing. Do you think they persecute us to destroy nothing? Or do you think that what has battered on your soul... ...for twenty years has been nothing? It wasn't for nothing that Christ died. Mankind isn't nothing. In his eyes, each individual man is the whole world. He loves each man as though there were no other. I was the opposite of everything he taught, wasn't l? Why did he let himself be killed instead of me? Because being farthest from him, you were the nearest. -I'm no nearer than I was before. -Nor any farther away. The truth of the matter is, he's never moved from your side. I can tell you this. There has been a wrestling in your spirit, back and forth in your life... ...which in itself is knowledge of God. By the conflict you have known him. I can tell you as well, that so it will be with the coming of the kingdom. That wrestling back and forth and the labouring of the world spirit... ...like a woman in childbirth. We are only the beginning. We won't see the time when the Earth is full of the kingdom. And yet, even now, even here... ...we are at the end ourselves. The kingdom is within us. There is nothing more to fear. Upon us, the years will be built. Many years, many martyrdoms. The ground of men is very stubborn to mature. But men will look back to us in our day and will wonder and remember our hope. Itis the end of the day. We shall trust ourselves to a little pain... ...and sleep. Saying to the world: "God's speed." What hour is it? Night or day? The sixth hour goes... ...when darkness.... Darkness.... I give myself up... ...into your keeping. It is... ...Barabbas.