Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is tasked with learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life, a mission that pulls him toward a village ruler who has made a dark pact with evil forces.Written by
This is the second time Christopher Smith has made a film in Germany; parts of Creep were filmed there too. Despite being in English with an English cast and director, Black Death (2010) is essentially a German film. See more »
The film shows the existence of plague doctors with beak masks, in the monastery. The movie is set in the year 1348, but beak masks (holding smelling herbs or sponges) weren't used until the 1600s. See more »
The fumes of the dead are in the air like poison. The plague, more cruel and more pitiless than war, descended upon us. A pestilence, that would leave half of our kingdom dead. Where did it come from? What carried its germ. The priests told us it was God's punishment. For what sin? What commandment must we break that could earn this? No, we knew the truth. This was not God's work, but devilry. Or witchcraft. But our task, to hunt down a demon, was God's cure.
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While some may see this movie as having a not so subtle undertone of 'the greatness of Christianity', I saw it as an interesting exploration of religion itself. The characters in this movie all differ in their religious views, allowing you to identify with them based on your own religious persuasion. There is the fanatic, the believer, the non believer, the good, the bad, the in between etc.
The plot itself helps this journey, as the characters move from one setting to a vastly different one, all the while suffering the same basic experiences. Their initial motivations, in addition to their reactions to these experiences, all differ along the lines of their beliefs, and help either strengthen or weaken those beliefs. This movie shows quite well, that people's attitudes to religion have not changed in hundreds of years. God is still used to explain things we do not understand, and fear and "miracles" are still used to recruit and keep believers.
Human behaviour also has not changed much. Even faced with the 'black death', one of the worst pandemics in human history, people still found reason to divide and fight amongst themselves assigning blame and punishment rather than band together. The way these themes fit in so appropriately with the medieval setting, makes it all the more surprising that they can still be applied in today's world. All in all, a good movie for open minded people because although the film explores these themes, it makes no conclusion. That is left to the audience to determine who was right, who was justified and who was wrong; who was good and who was evil.
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