In the years between 1347-50 AD histories tells us that the Renaissance took place, however the Italian Renaissance was almost another experience all together according to at least a small group of Italian born, raised, and educated intellectuals, if this film is to be believed as representing a majority view of that group. The Dew and the Sickle strongly asserts that the Catholic Church's response to those in need of answers and a cure during the black plague was to spread religious propaganda and heaven and earth were metaphors for the best and worst possible outcomes.
The place of humankind in the world is also highlighted through a particular sort of angle that examines the philosophies and contributions of known men throughout history. The 15th and 16th centuries are important eras of the Renaissance and the film discusses briefly the particular cities involved, cities that remain relevant for both their past and present contributions on a global scale.
The Dew and the Sickle comes in strong with a sort of anti-Catholic, or anti-religious, hypothesis that is its mission statement. In fulfilling this mission, the film can come of a little opinionated, but it remains educational and raises interesting lesser known facts from the times of the plague such as the three simultaneous Popes.
This film takes the stance that the exploration and discovery that occurred during the Renaissance was a result of a loss of faith in the church and perhaps in religion altogether that led to more open minds and ultimately to occurrences that shaped the world and its people.
It also shines a light on how faith based fears can stop us from acknowledging what otherwise rational minds would have to. Many interesting aspects of the Renaissance are featured, making the heavy graphic use relevant when we consider the large amount of Renaissance art, and the film doesn't fail to deliver on "experts" of the Italian Renaissance.