Jacoby's documentary is based on former priest James Carroll's controversial book detailing the hidden anti-Semitism at the roots of the Catholic Church. Featuring Carroll himself as our guide, the film goes back centuries to explore the links between war and religion throughout the entire history of Western civilization. Structured almost like a detective story, we follow Carroll as he exposes the ways in which religious hatred has undermined humane, civilized society over time.
Supported by an impressive array of well researched, thoughtfully arranged facts and hypotheses, "Sword" presents a persuasive and damning portrait of religious intolerance in the Catholic Church, particularly against the Jews, which took root generations before the Nazi persecution in the mid-twentieth century. Jacoby wisely leavens the history lesson by interweaving details of Carroll's own personal odyssey within the Church, which is fascinating in its own right. Though you may question some of the arguments advanced here, this remains an arresting, thought-provoking film worth seeing… and talking about.