The Story of Katherine of Alexandria (2014)

I don’t mind films with low budgets. Independent filmmakers must compete with the big boys somehow, and a lack of special effects and razzmatazz should draw attention to sharp scripts and clever acting. This film, set in the later years of the Roman empire, is about a Christian woman called Katherine who is martyred by emperor Maxentius, who is also obsessed with her. She is the woman commemorated by the Catherine Wheel on Bonfire Night, for she was allegedly crucified on a circular frame.  In the film, she is portrayed as an intelligent mystic who seems to lack any ability to hold conversation. Not the kind of person you’d like round for dinner. Scholars doubt she ever existed, and even the Roman Catholic Church scrapped her feast day in 1969, partially restoring it in 2002. 

Still, it’s interesting to think that one of our best-loved fireworks is modelled on the execution of a Christian. Truly, Christian martyrdom has never gone out of fashion.