Islamic militants pull up to a small village in Libya driving heavily armored vehicles. They kidnap a group of Christians - 20 in all - as their friends and family members stand by helplessly. Months later, these militants conjure a horrifying public spectacle by videotaping a mass beheading of their captives. This repulsive event is indicative of the war currently being waged by the Islamic State, and the emotional ramifications of this conflict serve as the basis for the new documentary short ISIS vs. Christ.
Produced by the Russia Today global news network, the film contains a series of unflinching interviews with those closest to the victims. A grieving father recounts the journey of his son - Gergess - who traveled from Egypt in search of more lucrative job opportunities in Libya. Gergess had found monetary success as a tiler and was on the precipice of getting married when he was kidnapped. His father expresses tremendous sorrow at the brutality his son suffered at the hands of ISIS, but carries a comforting sense of pride in the fact that his son died in defiance of his captors by vocally praising the Lord.
One victim's mother witnessed the lead-up to her son's murder on television. For some time, she hoped against hope that the scene was staged for shocking effect and wasn't actually carried through to its horrible conclusion. Following the inevitable revelation of his death, she and her family praise their loved one as a martyr, but the devastation of their loss can be felt in their haunted eyes and pained expressions.
These families find solace in the warm blanket of their beliefs - the same beliefs which made their loved ones targets of terrorist aggression - but they continue to struggle through daily bouts of resentment and numbing grief nonetheless. Their inner conflicts are palpable, and the bravery and open-heartedness of their religious convictions in the face of such tragedy is never less than inspiring.
ISIS vs. Christ presents a deeply intimate and human side of a murderous epidemic which continues to stretch across further reaches of the globe. Its subjects are inspiring in their ability to find grace in the presence of savagery.