The movie “Day of Wrath” straight to video release was almost good, but it is most interesting because the setting is a lifeboat situation that makes the depiction of a moral choice impossible.

Christopher Lambert plays a village sheriff Ruy de Mendoza in Inquisition racked Spain. He keeps finding dead bodies of prominent individuals, but the bodies and all the evidence keeps disappearing before others can see it. Further, the widows keep insisting that their husband’s are alive but out of town. In his investigation, everyone, including his mother, is lying to him and covering up a secret.

While the world around him contains characters committed to faith and tradition, Mendoza remains committed to truth and justice. Unfortunately, he ends up as a Levin (Anna Karenina) who gives up those values. At least, Mendoza has the excuse that truth and justice are impossible to achieve in Inquisition Spain, because both will lead to the death of himself and his family.

While I would have wanted to seen a complete condemnation of faith in this movie, it does exhibit the dark consequences of church-state integration. Ultimately, the power of the state expressed through the sheriff is inferior to that of the church through the Inquisitor. Thus, it reflects the modern problem in the Muslim world where open opposition to the Islamic extremists means certain death to self and loved ones.

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