Documentary series about native Croatian medieval kings, their kingdom and people who lived then. Story of rise of the kings, their peak and fall.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tihomir Ajdukovic ...
prince Ljudevit
Simic Anamarija ...
queen Jelena the Beautiful
Bozidar Domagoj Buric ...
prince Domagoj / Vukota
Ivica Dlesk ...
Gottschalk
Snjezana Galoic ...
queen Jelena
Domagoj Jozic ...
king Svetoslav
Mirko Katkic ...
Charlemagne
Miljenko Kokot ...
Narrator
Cedomil Lizatovic ...
Peter the Black
Dario Macesic ...
king Stjepan Drzislav
Miro Mioc ...
Ljutisa
Vjeran Misurac ...
king Tomislav
Tomislav Moslavac ...
Radovan
Davor Oblak ...
Zitimir
Mirko Penic ...
prince Branimir
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Documentary series about native Croatian medieval kings, their kingdom and people who lived then. Story of rise of the kings, their peak and fall.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Documentary

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Release Date:

16 October 2011 (Croatia)  »

Also Known As:

Hrvatski Kraljevi  »

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Box Office

Budget:

HRK 16,000,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Color:

(PAL)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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Trivia

One of the world's greatest historians of Middle Ages, Professor Jacques LeGoff, participated as expert commentator. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Valuable content in a campy package
30 August 2013 | by See all my reviews

Before I got to see this series I thought it would be another piece of political propaganda Croatia's already seen more than enough of, in the last twenty years. History of Medieval Croatia used to be particularly useful to nationalist agenda, precisely because so much about it was, and still is, shrouded in mystery.

I was very pleasantly surprised to see that this was going to be something else. The show abounds with newly discovered data and sheds a new and long awaited light on characters and events of the period. As it happens, the title of the show should've been expanded to "Croatian Rulers" because some of those mentioned never went by the title of "king". It is made very clear, though, that titles didn't play that much of a role in Middle Ages and that the real power was what counted the most. Croatian rulers wielded some real power in the region and this series is after uncovering that.

The strong points of the show are the recruitment of experts on the subject, using the new interdisciplinary data and impressive power of deducing new conclusions, not only out of what was mentioned but also out of what wasn't. For instance, during the reign of Tomislav, Croatia was a vassal state to Byzantium. And since there is never a mention of Croatian "thema" (a term for "province") in Byzantine chronicles of the era, the very likely conclusion is that Croatia was powerful and very much independent. Revision went both ways, both in reinforcing some known theories and refuting others. The series didn't balk at opportunity to show some of the known historical figures as overrated, misconceived or even completely nonexistent, if the new data lead to such conclusion. All in all, "Croatian Kings" brought a fresh approach and convincing arguments for demystifying and debunking the legends that used to be sold as "history" to Croatian population.

The weakness of the series is - production. Noticeably lacking is almost any kind of graphics: geographical maps, charts etc. Absence of such material seriously degrades the didactic value of presentation. The burden of delivering the information falls on the narrator and a couple of guest experts, while we watch "pretty pictures" that are only very loosely related to what's being said. The director focused solely on reenactments and the inspiration for direction is plainly drawn from Ridley Scott. Hence the gritty look, a lot of slow motion and some blood and gore. Unfortunately, the cinematography and special effects come off very cheap and a tad amateurish. Same goes for the sets and casting, so instead of an homage to Scott we have a parody.

Another very distracting thing is the music score, written by the same guy that directed the series. The attempt to mimic Hollywood epics is apparent here as well. However, the result is very pedestrian. In every piece the main theme is rehashed over and over again ad nauseam, with very little in the way of creativity. What's worse, there are only three or four pieces written to cover all the episodes, and very soon hearing the same old thing begins to bother the viewer especially since it clashes with the main source of information - the narrator.

You can freely write off the production aspect of the series as a vanity vehicle for Bozidar Domagoj Buric. "Croatian Kings" could well function as a radio show. But a very informative, eye opening and amusing radio show it would be.


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