Continuing our series on screen portrayals of Pilate that I began in 2011 during Holy Week. The posts on portrayals of Pilate by Rod Steiger, Richard Boone, Barry Dennen, Hristov Shopov, Telly Savalas, Frank Thring and Stephen Russell may be viewed here, here, here, here here , here and here.
Greg Hicks portrays Pilate in the movie Son of God (2014) as concerned above all at protecting his position. If he does not execute Jesus Caiaphas can tell Tiberius through his agents that Pilate is coddling a rebel against Rome and that would lead to the ending of Pilate’s procuratorship and perhaps his life. That is more than enough reason for him to deny the request for mercy for Christ from his wife Procula, disturbed by her dream of Christ.
This is a fairly conventional portrayal, but Hicks gives it some interesting twists. He holds out a ladle of water to the battered Christ that Christ does not take. When he asks Christ what is Truth, Christ looks up, presumably toward His Father. Pilate looks up also, perhaps hoping, no matter how unlikely, that he could see the Truth that Christ sees. As a human being Pilate finds Christ intriguing and a mystery. However as a representative of Rome he is trapped in his desire to maintain the power and position he currently holds. How many people over the centuries have denied Christ for just such reasons? An interesting take on Pilate.