Director Simon Aeby's epic film chronicles the time-tested loyalty of two friends during Europe's 16th-century Inquisition. Orphans Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Georg (Peter McDonald)... See full summary »
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Anneke von der Lippe
Director Simon Aeby's epic film chronicles the time-tested loyalty of two friends during Europe's 16th-century Inquisition. Orphans Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Georg (Peter McDonald) bond as children, but walk very different paths as adults. Georg follows his calling to join the church, while Martin becomes an army captain. When fate places Martin in the role of executioner, he must choose between friendship and fundamentalist doctrine. Written by
This had the promise of being an interesting film. The subject matter was certainly a promising one - the excesses of the Catholic Church during the counter-reformation. However, not only was this not developed (other than a two paragraph introduction), many things were not explained - i.e. the gypsies, the Anabaptists, the inquisitors and their relationship to the one true church. Nor were the politics of the time explained, i.e. the relationship between the Catholic church and its supporters like the Holy Roman Emperor. Though these may have been apparent to an Austrian audience, the lack of explanation makes it confusing for Americans.
But perhaps it's a good thing that they didn't emphasize the history since what they showed was pretty inaccurate anyway. Instruments of torture, bloody executions, witch and heretic burnings, big shiny swords and pretty golden reliquaries are the stars of the film. It could have just as easily been one of those Conan-type sword and sorcery movies, only with period costumes...
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