2300 B.C.: A band of horsemen attacks Anuk's village and abducts the women. Anuk survives the massacre and sets out to search for his sisters and face the enemy. The story of a man's ...
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2300 B.C.: A band of horsemen attacks Anuk's village and abducts the women. Anuk survives the massacre and sets out to search for his sisters and face the enemy. The story of a man's journey to rescue his folk and find his love. A film about courage, bravery and unfaltering loyalty in a time when history did not yet have a name.Written by
Let's start with the strengths of the picture: First, this is not a case where costumes look like costumes, which is often the case in historical pictures. What the actors are wearing looks torn, ragged and dirty, as if worn for months. The designers managed to make it look quite real. Along with the primitive huts and rocky landscape, a believable setting is provided. Second, the camera-work is flawless. When you see the warriors walk into the fog along the mountains, memories of Thomas Mauch's work for "Aguirre" spring to my mind. The scenes are well edited, too. Third, the story is simple (which suits 2300 BC, the time it is set in) but effective. We've had flicks about Vikings, Romans and Egyptians by the dozen, but prehistoric Switzerland? That is rare enough yet. And it stays fortunately with its feet on the ground, in opposite to "10.000 BC" for example, where in the end you got pyramids and silliness! Fourth, acting is better than could be expected from a cast that consists of non-professionals and musicians. Several have quite a strong presence in their screen time, Marc Storace and Stephan Eicher first of all.
Now for the problems of the picture. The soundtrack has its ups and downs. A little bit of new age synth & dreamy voices stuff, a bit of tribal drumming, a bit of 80s hard rock - too many composers and somehow not round as a whole. The understandability of the dialog could be better, one would expect a strong barbarian to speak not whisper. The dialog also tends to be a bit stiff, it seems the script was aiming at poetry when it should be rough and straight. Some moments are not staged as dramatic as they could have been - for example the scene with the killing of Anuk's teacher, when you first see the assassin standing in the frame for quite a while already before he shoots (no shock moment), and then even worse, Anuk gives up the pursuit quickly after a few steps (could expect more from a hero). Finally, let me mention one point that damages the realism they tried to achieve: the guys don't remotely look like being part of one tribe. Mind you, in ancient times a tribe was a very homogeneous group where almost everybody was related to everyone else, maybe closer than what would be legal today. Now if you use blond and black-haired actors from today's Switzerland, i.e. of Roman, Germanic and Slavonic origin, it makes not a convincing tribe. Before I get into detail too much, however, let me summarize that "Anuk" is an honorable attempt for its limited budget and worthy of your attention. I voted 6 of 10.
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