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    Black Death (Movie Review)



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    Black Death (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on May 11th 2011, 8:27 pm

    You probably haven't heard of this movie, but there are a few good reasons to check it out.

    "Black Death" takes place in England in the 1300's during the Black Plague. Sean Bean plays a knight of the church who has taken up the cause of hunting down the supernatural evil that he believes is the source of the plague. He leads a group of mercenaries and a young monk who plans to secretly rendezvous with the woman he loves. They all reach the suspected source of the evil, a small remote village that has mysteriously remained untouched by the plague. From this point what unfolds is a complex examination of religious fanaticism that for once, in films of this period, is not limited to pointing fingers at the Christians.

    The cast is composed of mostly unknowns, though all match the onscreen strength of Sean Bean extremely well. I was pulled in by each of the characters, rarely thinking of them as actors. The sets and costumes have a wonderfully rugged realism to them, supporting the gritty tone that film shoots for.

    I would have liked a little more production value in the shooting of the film. One or two helicopter shots would have been nice during travel scenes and the film seemed a bit too "grounded". Shaky cam effects were used a little too often, but not so much that it ever became frustrating. Fight scenes were gripping in their brutality, but the choreography left something to be desired and the "shaky cam" once again proved a distraction more than an aid.

    As is the case with many stories in our "post-modern" age, there are no black hats or white hats. The protagonists, even the most pure among them, fall victim to corruption. And the antagonists, though maybe not exactly what the protagonists fear, are still horrifying in their evil. The protagonists have a fear and prejudice aimed at those who are not Christians, claiming allegiance to God while behaving in morally questionable ways. Nothing new about this in the world of movies. However, the antagonists portray themselves as victims of the "big bad intolerant Christian church", claiming to take no pleasure in violence or the pain of others, yet they enact a pre-emptive strike against the protagonists, giving them the choice of torture and death(during which they smile sadistically) or renouncing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and being set free. (So much for tolerance, huh?)

    The parallels to the modern spiritual atmosphere in America are uncanny. On the one hand, there are a number of Christians filled with prejudice and sometimes even hate toward non-Christians, living in contrast to God's commands for us to love others. At the same time, the popular creative community (comedians, musicians, writers, producers etc.) cries out for religious tolerance while they passive aggressively use their work to mock, condemn and show intolerance for those who express disagreement with them.

    Although not a big budget operation, this film never looks "direct to video". It's a great movie with some dark and disturbing themes and complex situations that will likely lead to some very worthwhile conversation afterward.

    Rated R for strong brutal violence, and some language.

    Quality: 9.0/10

    Relevance: 9.0/10

    For information about my scoring system, visit-

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    -Seek The Truth!

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