A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
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In AD 922, Arab courtier Ahmad Ibn Fadlan accompanies a party of Vikings to the barbaric North. Ibn Fadlan is appalled by the Vikings customs-- their wanton sexuality, their disregard for cleanliness, their cold-blooded human sacrifices. And then he learns the horrifying truth: he has been enlisted to combat a terror that slaughters the Vikings and devours their flesh. Written by
When Ibn Fahdlan (Banderas) and Melchisidek (Sharif) enters the tent at the beginning of the movie the latter speaks Greek which eventually leads to a conversation with the viking Herger (Storhoi). Melchisidek speaks Greek, and though Herger obviously understands Greek he responds in Latin which Melchisidek fortunately understands.
Though it is not stated why a Northman could understand both Latin and Greek as there were no official connection between Scandinavia and Byzantine in the 10th century, the logical assumption would be that Herger learned the languages due to him taking part in the viking raids/travels into modern day Russia (where the first scenes are filmed) and from there south into what was then the Byzantine Empire. The dominant language of the Byzantium realm was Greek with Latin as a second language. The vikings made at least one attempt at conquering the capital of the Byzantium Empire: Constantinopel. See more »
The saber Ibn Fahdlan makes is a curved sword which is exclusively Turkish. Arabs at that time used straight swords similar to western broadswords. An Arab nobleman wouldn't know how to make one even if he had an anachronistic/exotic taste for Turkish cavalry sabers. Turkish style curved swords became fashionable in the Middle-East after large groups of Central Asian Turks began to be enlisted by Islamic armies later. See more »
i have read the book and also seen the theatrical movie. hopefully this makes me more of an objective critic. through following this story there are two points i wish to address, first being the authenticity of the story.
from what i have read. the movie does justice to the documentation provided by the book. there are of course items in the book which cannot be properly illustrated by the film only because much of what occurs is due to the readers fantasy, i have not known any director to be able to illustrate this without some variants. it even seems improbable that a director could make it echo that of your specific account, in reading the subject.
I think that this theatrical attempt is one of the best, true to text efforts that you will find. the movie provides a vehicle to learn or experience the characters in a different manner than reading about the events, which from the account of the narrator are somewhat bland and overly factual.
this is a great effort to stay true to the story provided and i personally find that the strange connection and distance that you encounter with the main characters convey the true meaning of what it would be like to experience an event like this - that is without the language and social skills of the environment one is thrust into.
so on the whole i think that this is a respectable attempt to recreate the story as documented, without taking too much license at "artistic additions" in the film version. i find that you become attached to the characters even without knowing their names or understanding them on a "language" scale. this story is truly about a foreign interaction and a textbook style accounting of the events that haunted the main character even after the experience.
excellent for those looking for a real story and not just special effects to entertain.
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