Friday, 12 December 2014

Movie Review: "The Black Death"

When I first saw the previews for this flick, I was like... yeah this is dumb...according to my medieval expertise and nit-picky-ness.  But I evenutally ended up renting it off iTunes.  iTunes is awesome by the way for random stuff.. or Netflix.  Either way, not bad for the $6.99 I paid.  The show had some familiar faces: Sean Bean (Bordamir in LOTR and Ned Stark on Game of Thrones) and the actor who played Jack from "Pillars of the Earth" on Starz, Eddie Redmayne.

My opinion historically, to be honestly, some of the depiction seemed accurate, but I would have to review notes from past studies, to say wither it got a rotten tomato or not. But of course it is Hollywood, artistic license likes to be taken a lot. It was graphic.. kinda, but oh well. Costumes seem okay, not sure about the amour, it did seem a tad out of place. Remarkably though, the villages portrayed seemed very Anglo-Saxon. There is a historical reproduction of a settlement in East Anglia, that the villages reminded me of.

One thing that stood out were the masks worn by the individual's who buried the dead, and yes they did have the pointy nose bit on them. Historically speaking, why were they constructed like this? Reason behind it was that they wearer put herbs and posies in them to help filter out the smell and "protect" them from the pestilence.  The song "Ring around the rosey, pocket full of posies" has it's origin from a time when pestilence and plague were quite common in communities.  The idea though, pretty slick.. I guess for the medieval person yes.

Through out the film there are notations of witchcraft, necromancy etc.. Highlighting the still very strong pagan, or mystic belief systems of the medical era. Yet, when examining the education level of the average person back then, people believed what they saw, fact or not, real or unreal. For they had no other reason to not belief in the folk lore of the time. With the church and daily life painting many of times a dark picture, individuals turned to old beliefs to keep faith and hope in society going, a hope and will for survival, that the new gods could not bring.

My over all opinion: Redbox it and buy it when it gets cheap. It is a fun flick to watch, and if you are a history buff, perhaps buy.

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