Where do angels come from? We're all familiar with their iconography, but many have likely not questioned their origins. Their images are closely associated with the lore of Christianity, and their influence has informed some of the most inspired and influential works of art across the centuries. The Angel Chronicles explores how the image of the angel has evolved over time, and what they represent in our changing perceptions of the Heavens and the Earth.
Angels are messengers of God. They are non-human, omnipresent spiritual beings that act as guides and judges in order to fulfill God's will. The film travels back many centuries and across vast landscapes to uncover the evolution of the angel, and exposes many truths about humankind in the process.
The earliest visual representations of angels were produced in ancient Rome. In these images, angels can be seen adorned with gleaming halos. The winged cherubs we typically associate with angelic iconography came from Greece, and their appearance was not far separated from the rustic representations of demons. In each of these iterations, they represent the hierarchy and order that lead to the perfection of Heaven.
Over time, angel motifs became more dramatic and grandiose. They were frequently depicted holding relics of the Passion, and their servitude was expanded to include Jesus and the Virgin Mary. These modifications reflect the increasing sophistication of artistic tools, and the need to visualize evolving traditions for the modern world. In some of the most profound artistic renderings, angels are used to portray the melding of the spiritual and the scientific. Consistently throughout the ages, they are a reminder of religious culture, and of our need to feel comforted by the divine.
The filmmakers employ ancient art work, gorgeous images from some of the world's most ornate houses of worship, and insights from a series of religious professors and theologians to compliment its narrative.
Through painstaking research and sumptuous photography, The Angel Chronicles makes complicated history easily digestible and alluring. The film is also a celebration of timeless art, and its power to capture and reveal our shared history and humanity.
Directed by: Michael Trabitzsch