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08.20.2017
Black Death (2010)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
02.07.11

Black Death (2010) In 1348 Europe a group of Knights, led by Ulric (Sean Bean of LORD OF THE RINGS, LOST FUTURE), are sent by the Church to investigate an isolated town that's rumored to be immune to the bubonic plague that is sweeping the land. They think it's because of a demon, primarily because everyone thinks that God is punishing his people and if they aren't being punished it must be the devil's doing. On the way, the group picks up a young Monk in training, Osmund (Eddie Redmayne), who has an ulterior motive to going to that part of the country. He's in love with a beautiful woman and she fled to the woods to escape the disease. He's to meet her there in a week. Yet when the group gets there he finds only her bloody clothes and it appears she has met her end. This brings the attention of some nearby bandits, there's a fight, one of the knights is killed and their horses are stolen. Afterwards, they make it to that village they are seeking.

They tell the leader of the village that they are travelers and just want a place to stay for the night, yet they are suspicious. Yes, the village has not been stricken by the plague and this bothers the knights to no end. Ulric believes the woman healer, Langiva, to be an evil witch and wants to prove this. It turns out that the villagers are not devil worshippers at all--they simply don't believe in ANY type of god. Of course, this is one in the same to Ulric and his men, who want to kill them all.

This isn't a typical movie about the Middle Ages. I thought it really interesting that none of the characters are likable, except for glimmers of the main character, the monk who is distraught over his girlfriend and what he ends up discovering about her. Yet, what happens to him in the movie transforms him into something terrible and this ends the movie on a definitive--and effective--down note. This is the best movie about the Middle Ages I've seen since Paul Verhoeven's FLESH & BLOOD. Recommended.

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