When nine-year-old Rob Cole felt the life force slipping from his mother's hand he could not foresee that this terrifying awareness of impending death was a gift that would lead him from the familiar life of 11th-century London to small villages throughout England and finally to the medical school at Ispahan. Though apprenticed to an itinerant barber surgeon, it is the dazzling surgery of a Jewish physician trained by the legendary Persian physician Avicenna that inspires him to accept his gift and to commit his life to healing by studying at Avicenna's school. Despite the ban on Christian students, Rob goes there, disguising himself as a Jew to gain admission. Gordon has written an adventurous and inspiring tale of a quest for medical knowledge pursued in a violent world full of superstition and prejudice. Written by
Literary Guild alternate
The film is based on a best-selling novel by Noah Gordon's "The Physician". The book was recorded in 1999 at the Book Fair in Madrid, in the list of the ten most popular books of all time. See more »
It is assumed that human dissection was forbidden by the Shareeah in the middle age, so both Ibn Sina and Rob Cole are sentenced to death by an Islamic court. In fact, systematic dissections of the human body were performed neither in Islam nor in England not only due to religious prohibitions, but also because they were considered unnecessary, although they would be done occasionally. Today, dissecting humans is allowed in Islam and in Christian lands under certain circumstances. See more »
In my fever, I dreamt that we were man and wife. We had children... Four!
Did we roam around in a barber's car?
No, we lived in a great city. Where you built a Madraza!
All by myself?
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In the Eleventh Century, in England, the mother of the boy Rob Cole has side sickness (appendicitis) and he foresees her death when he touches her. The orphan Rob is alone and he follows a traveling barber-surgeon (Stellan Skarsgård) that teaches him how to cure the needy. When the barber is blind with cataract, Rob Cole seeks out a Jewish physician that recovers the barber's vision.
Rob Cole decides to learn medicine with the famous Ibn Sina (Ben Kingsley) in the distant Persia. Along his one-year journey, Rob makes a circumcision on himself and changes his name to Jesse Ben Benjamin, posing of Jewish to be accepted by Ibn Sina's school in Isfahan. Further he falls in love with Rebecca (Emma Rigby) that is traveling to Isfahan in the same caravan to get married in a marriage of convenience. Jesse learns medicine with Ibn Sina while he performs forbidden experience with a corpse and has sex with Rebecca. When the mullahs betray the Shah Ala ad-Daula (Olivier Martinez) to the Seljuk, the lives of Ibn Sina, Jesse and their friends are deeply affected.
"The Physician" is one of the best adventures of 2014. The saga of gifted Rob Cole in his pursue for the knowledge of medicine in a primitive Middle Ages in Europe. Ben Kingsley is perfect as usual in the role of a wise scientist limited by the religion to explore his knowledge. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "O Físico" ("The Physicist")
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