Watch: A traumatized Roman gives a first-hand account of the Resurrection in one of the best scenes from Risen

Watch: A traumatized Roman gives a first-hand account of the Resurrection in one of the best scenes from Risen May 26, 2016


Risen came out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, and to mark the occasion, the studio has released a new clip from the film — and it’s one of the film’s best scenes.

You can watch the clip here:

I singled this scene out as one of the film’s best in my review of the film:

My favorite performance, though, might be that of Richard Atwill, who plays Polybius, one of the two soldiers who guards the tomb. He only has a few scenes, but they leave a lasting impression: the last time we see Polybius, he is sitting in a tavern, trying to drown his memories in strong drink, and he begs Clavius to give him a rational explanation for what he saw at the tomb. We often talk about the centurion who recognized the righteousness of Jesus at Golgotha, but we don’t often talk about what happened to the soldiers who guarded the tomb and thus became the only people to actually witness the Resurrection as it happened — and it’s sobering to think that these men, who from one point of view were the most privileged witnesses to history ever, may have been traumatized by the experience: wounded, as it were, but never healed.

The Blaze has an interview with Richard Atwill, the key actor in this scene:

Atwill said he and director Kevin Reynolds talked “before the shoot about how this was a real turning point for Joe’s character. We had to make sure that there was something in the recollection of the resurrection that made [Clavius] contemplate the fact that everything he has believed up to this point was untrue and there was another reality that he was yet to discover.”

So Atwill had the challenging job of describing the actual resurrection — and during the retelling he practically comes unglued. To get to that emotional place, Atwill told TheBlaze he “tried to imagine how I would’ve felt if I had witnessed what was described in the scene” — and then everything after.

“I would’ve been sentenced to death and then pardoned and then had to cope with having seen the most incredible thing but being forbidden to tell anyone at pain of death,” Atwill shared. “It’s a pretty unsettling set of circumstances.”

Amid the guard’s description of the resurrection, the countenance of the once-skeptical Clavius changes completely — and he looks even a bit unsettled at this new prospect. He almost certainly believes the guard no longer is lying.

Atwill explained that his character “is separated from all that he knows and no one has asked him, on a personal level, what he is feeling. He knows he shouldn’t, but he desperately wants to tell the truth — and in this scene he is given the chance to do so.”

Check out earlier Risen trailers and other videos here:

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