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"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge
the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~Proverbs 24:3-4

Pendragon: Sword Of His Father
Its message of faith, courage, and vision is sure to inspire your family for generations to come.

Pendragon, Sword of His Father

Most people have heard of King Arthur, but how many know who he really was? According to medieval histories and romances, Arthur was a legendary British leader who led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders. Farms and villages on the coast of Britain were indeed raided and destroyed by merciless Saxon marauders. However, the details of Arthur's life are mainly comprised of folklore and literary invention; the themes, events, and characters vary widely from text to text. Some modern historians even dispute Arthurís actual existence. The origin of the Welsh name Arthur remains a matter of debate also. But itís very likely that Arthur was a Christian, and his victories against the heathen barbarians succeeded in spreading the cause of Christianity in Britain.

Pendragon: Sword of His Father is an action film set in Britainís Dark Ages and based on the Arthurian legend. It was written and produced by Burns Family Studios, which is comprised of two Christian homeschool families Ė nine cousins and their parents. The Burns Family spent three years making this movie. I first heard about it a couple of years ago, and Iíve been following its progress ever since. I wasnít sure what to expect, but when they came out with the trailer I was amazed at the quality and detail. It looked like The Lord of the Rings! How cool that homeschoolers were taking it upon themselves to make a historically accurate Arthurian film featuring virtuous men and women. This movie portrays Arthur as a Christian, and Merlin as a lone monk instead of a wizard.

Pendragon was honored to be a Feature Finalist this month at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, competing against Fireproof, Expelled, The Widowís Might, and Pilgrimís Progress. Although they said it was well received by the audience, I was disappointed that Pendragon didnít win any awards. I certainly thought it would, because Pendragon must be the first independent Christian film of its kind ever attempted. Itís complete with detailed period sets, historic costumes, sword fights, battles, flames, interesting storyline, excellent cinematography, professional-sounding music score, and great special effects. Quite impressive, especially considering that these are amateur film makers and not a professional Hollywood production! Pendragon has raised the bar of Christian filmmaking and set a fine example for others to follow.

Pendragon begins in the year A.D. 411 as Roman Legions depart the Isle of Britain. The people are left to defend themselves against Saxon barbarians who were coming in pillaging and plundering the British towns. Artos Pendragon lives in a coastal village with his parents and sister. Artosí father teaches him that God has a purpose for his life Ė but all seems lost when Saxon raiders burn the village, murder his father, and take Artos prisoner. When Artos escapes to join the army of King Ambrosius, who is also fighting the Saxons, Artos wins favor in the sight of the king... and his daughter. Soon Artos discovers that following Godís calling to drive the Saxons out of Britain will require him to choose between the girl he loves and the people he is called to defend.

The Burns family has been involved in film making for the past six years. It all started when their youngest son, Peter, then eight, decided to make a film about the history of manned flight. The next movie he wrote, directed, and starred in. Filmmaking has since become a major part of the Burns familyís life, and the whole family contributes to the making of a Burns Family film. Pendragon was produced by Andrew and Raymond Burns, directed by Chad Burns, and edited by Nick Burns. All of the costumes were meticulously designed by Shannon and Marilyn Burns. The original music score was created by Aaron and Marilyn Burns. The movie stars Aaron Burns, Marilyn Burns, and Nick Burns. While they all did a good job, Nick Burns as the villain Caderyn gave the best acting performance in my opinion. He perfectly fit the part of the classic bad guy!

Being a small company, Burns Family Studios rely heavily on volunteers. They were blessed with hundreds of people from all over the country offering their time as crew members, camera operators, set builders, choreographers, stunt men, horsemen, and extras. In addition, they had a large team of artists working on the sound, music, and visual effects. The Burns Family themselves put in hundreds of man-hours editing the film Ė at a rate of 8 hours of work for each minute of film! The production quality, considering they spent only around $50,000 on the film, is awesome for a low budget picture.

Pendragon was filmed in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and two other nearby states. It obviously required an incredible amount of coordinating, logistics, and planning. They constructed a town populated with peasants, soldiers, and livestock. The invasion scene included authentic-looking weapons, catapults, flaming arrows, battering rams, and a burning village. They transformed a hundred acre property into a battle field with horses and troops. A basement was turned into a stone jail cell. They filmed indoors, outdoors, in the snow, in the woods, and in the mud. They worked really hard to get everything just right, often shooting all night until dawn!

Besides being a great action film, the Burns family thoughtfully put wholesome Christian values into the movie. The words Lord, God, Jesus, and Christ are all used in reverence. Although there is historical violence, the scenes are not graphic. The movie is filled with positive messages and true Christian beliefs. Pendragon is an epic story of courage, vision, and sacrifice that will inspire viewers to stand tall and shoulder the tasks God has given them as they follow Godís vision for their lives.

The Pendragon DVD came out in December 2008. Recommended for ages 12 and over, itís sure to become a family favorite. If you enjoy Christian movies, adventure movies, medieval themes, or have a budding filmmaker in the family you will want to get this movie. Visit their website at

Pendragon - Sword of His Father

Pendragon: Sword Of His Father
Its message of faith, courage, and vision is sure to inspire your family for generations to come.


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