A semi-documentary about the life of Verus, a captive from the Rome's Balkan province of Moesia, who is pressed into the harsh life of a slave in Italian rock quarry. He sees no long term future there, so when the owner of a gladiatorial school comes there to recruit prospective fighters for his school, he purposely picks a fight with another slave to attract attention. Both he and Priscus, the Celtic slave, join the school, become friends, and build careers as renowned gladiators, adored by the crowds in the arena and desired by women of the aristocratic class. The Emporer Titus completes his father Vespasian's pet project, the Colosseum, and wants the inaugural games worthy of his memory, so he specifically selects Verus to fight in them. Written by
The Emperor Titus died six months after the opening of the Colosseum from a mysterious illness in the same farmhouse where his father Emperor Vespasian died. Titus was the first Emperor to succeed his father. He was succeeded by his brother Domitian. See more »
[Referring to life in the rock quarry]
We had a saying. There are no old bones in the pit.
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There is too little documentary value in this docu-drama, and frankly speaking I do not exactly know what the BBC invested so much in it. it may have been for rating reasons at the time of the release of the 'Gladiator' big studios movie, I am just speculating. The film focuses on the history of a gladiator by the time the Colosseum was built we learn a few new facts about the daily life and training methods of the gladiators and the organization of the fights, but the documentary value is too diluted and the fiction part not really too interesting. I found confusing the mix of first person story telling and historical comment in the off-screen commentary. Overall a below-average docu-drama.
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