Historical movies they transport us to a distant past with meticulous scenographic reconstructions, costumes and customs of the time. The Historical movie it is a real time machine. Transporting the audience to another era is one of the most fascinating aspects that has convinced thousands of producers to make sometimes very expensive Historical movies. In fact, the Historical movie often takes on the connotations of a colossal and of epic movie.
The scenographic reconstructions are the most expensive part of the production of a film and in the case of Historical movies they have a fundamental role with a strong impact on the budget. Let’s think, for example, of the reconstructions of environments from distant eras made entirely in studios. The walls of an ancient medieval city are reconstructed in full size with a lightweight material made of fiberglass. A very resistant material capable of surviving for decades after the shooting of the film.
Or the scenography is real but you have to rent expensive locations from a certain era such as a medieval castle or a 19th century noble house. Also thanks to the costumes, Historical movies have the ability to do something that the other arts have been able to do only partially: to catapult the viewer into another space and another time, with incredible likelihood. Historical movies tell epic events, important historical facts, mythology and epic poems, stories of empires and civilizations that have disappeared.
The Historical movie can cross various other cinematographic genres such as the catastrophic genre, in which the natural disasters that occurred in a given era are told. Or the drama and the biographical genre as in the case of Barry Lyndon’s Stanley Kubrick, where the entire narrative is centered around a single main hero. But the subject of the story can also be a group of several people and a certain event of social change such as revolutions and wars. In this case the Historical movie meets the war film genre.
When the historical setting appears as a pretext for showing suggestive images, we can often define the Historical movie as a costume film. In fact, the period film genre is aimed at a different audience, and historical events do not play a central role in it. These are less demanding films that can cross different film genres. The costumes and sets play a decorative role in the image without necessarily being linked to the contents.
The Historical Documentary
A separate mention deserves the historical documentary which focuses on the reconstruction of the real events that took place in a given era. The reconstruction takes place through fictional scenes, with sets, costumes and reconstructed environments. The intent, however, is that of the meticulous reconstruction of the facts and details that it intends to tell, starting from testimonies and documents of the present time.
The Religious and Biblical Movies
A particularly prolific strand of Historical movies throughout the history of cinema is that of biblical and religious films. Initiated in the silent era, it became one of the most popular genres of American blockbusters as soon as Hollywood studios were created. One of the most famous examples is the film Ten Commandments Of Cecil B. Demille, huge colossal on the biblical events of the People of Israel and Moses.
Between must see movie the historical genre, in all its variants, is among the most expensive and difficult to make. Among pharaonic sets, period reconstructions, Oscar-winning costumes and hundreds of extras, here is a short list of very interesting, sometimes unmissable, Historical movies.
Life and Passion of Christ (1903)
The second film adaptation of the Gospel stories after the invention of the cinema. The film is divided into 27 hand-colored paintings, and tells the life of Jesus of Nazareth from his childhood to his death and resurrection. One of the first successful attempts at a historical costume film with fascinating set design, made in 1903 by Ferdinand Zecca in France for the nascent Pathè production house.
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
It is a 1915 silent historical movie directed by D.W. Griffith. It is considered a cinematic masterpiece for its innovative techniques, but it is also known for the controversies related to its racist content and its celebration of the Ku Klux Klan.
The film tells the story of two families during the American Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction. The Southern family, the Camerons, represent nobility and tradition, while the Northern family, the Stonemans, represent radical Republicans and African Americans. The film presents African Americans as uncivilized, ignorant, and sexually perverted, while the Ku Klux Klan is presented as a savior and executional force.
The film has been criticized for its distorted depiction of history and its promotion of racism and white supremacy. However, it has also been praised for its innovative use of cinematic techniques such as parallel editing and selective focus.
The controversy surrounding “The Birth of a Nation” is still present today, and the film is often studied in film history classes as an example of how art can be used to spread negative ideologies.
The Kolossal that changed the cinema history bringing ingenious and numerous innovations also to the cinematographic language. Made by the legendary director David W. Griffith as a response to allegations of racism for his previous film, The Birth of a Nation. Four distinct stories spanning 2,500 years told in parallel about humanity’s intolerance throughout the ages: Conflicts in ancient Babylon, adultery and crucifixion in the biblical story of Judea, the French Renaissance, social unrest and the crimes of history American in the early 1900s.
Masterpiece of silent cinema that changed the history of hollywood and movies. One of the first blockbusters in the history of cinema, a film with incredible sets and costumes. Watching this masterpiece in high definition in the restored version, one gets the impression that the spectacularity of modern Hollywood Historical movies has not made who knows what great progress. A film so ambitious that it remains, even after a century, one of the must-see works.
The Ten Commandments (1923)
Classic of silent cinema and the first version of The Ten Commandments directed and produced by Cecil B. De Mille. A film that, for its time, was a colossal of enormous proportions. De Mille spent $1.4 million building an Egyptian city near Guadalupe, California.
Colossal statues, pyramids, temples and other constructions represented a true marvel of cinematic fiction. To prevent such a rich scenography from being used by other directors, De Mille preferred to destroy everything at the end of filming.
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
The revolt of the sailors of the battleship Potemkin and the citizens of Odessa against the ruthless police of the tsar, who reacts with a reprisal and carries out a massacre. Sergei Eisenstein makes a film commissioned by Goskino, the Soviet Union’s cinematography and film production office. It is a “propaganda” film for the celebration of the 1905 revolution, but Eisenstein turns it into an experimental and grandiose work, destined to change the history of cinema and editing forever.
The drama of the Russian revolution told through one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces. A spectacular film with an impressive historical reconstruction that has influenced hundreds of directors of successive generations
“Napoleon” is an epic historical silent film directed by Abel Gance in 1927. This film represents an important example of technical and artistic innovation in the history of cinema.
The film chronicles the life of Napoleon Bonaparte, starting from his youth in Corsica to his rise to power as French emperor and his subsequent defeat. The film is known for its innovative take on cinema, using techniques such as panning, handheld camera, parallel editing, double exposure, split screen and other innovations that were considered amazing at the time.
In particular, director Abel Gance used a technology called “Polyvision” which used three projectors to create an extremely wide image that covered a 180-degree portion of the screen. This technique was cutting edge for its time and represented a significant advance in cinema projection.
The film was a great success, both commercially and artistically, but it also caused financial problems for its expensive production. Furthermore, despite being a great initial success, “Napoleon” did not achieve great international success and its circulation was limited.
However, in the following years the film has continued to be rediscovered and appreciated for its technical innovation and visually appealing style. In 2016, a restored version of the film was presented and was shown in some film festivals.
Alexander Nevsky (1938)
“Alexander Nevsky” is a 1938 Historical movie directed by Sergei Eisenstein and Dmitri Vasilyev. The film tells the story of Russian prince Alexander Nevsky, who in the 13th century led his army to defend Russia against the invading Teutonic Knights.
The film is known for its spectacular battle sequences, especially the battle on the ice, in which the Russian army faces the Teutonic Knights on the ice of Lake Peipus. The scene was shot with a great deal of effort, using thousands of extras, hundreds of horses and specially built vehicles to cross the ice.
The film was produced at a time when Russia was facing the threats of Nazism in Europe, and for this reason it was used as political propaganda. Alexander Nevsky’s character was presented as a Russian national hero who defended his homeland against foreign invaders, creating a strong sense of national pride among Soviet viewers.
The film’s score, composed by Sergei Prokofiev, was particularly acclaimed, using instruments such as choir and organ to create a dramatic and powerful atmosphere.
“Alexander Nevsky” is considered one of the masterpieces of Soviet cinema, as well as a classic of the war cinema. The film has been re-edited and restored several times over the years and is still considered one of the most important films in the history of Russian cinema.
Quo Vadis? (1951)
“Quo Vadis?” is a 1951 historical epic film directed by Mervyn LeRoy, based on the historical novel of the same name by Henryk Sienkiewicz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905.
The film tells the story of a Roman officer named Marcus Vinicius (played by Robert Taylor) who falls in love with the Christian Lygia (played by Deborah Kerr) during the reign of Emperor Nero (played by Peter Ustinov). The plot revolves around Marcus Vinicius’ struggle to find faith and his love for Lygia, despite the Roman Empire’s persecutions of Christians.
The film was a major commercial success and won several awards, including Academy Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction. The soundtrack, composed by Miklós Rózsa, also won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.
“Quo Vadis?” it was acclaimed for its direction, elaborate stage designs and the performances of the actors, especially that of Peter Ustinov as Nero. The film also influenced the popular depiction of ancient Rome in popular culture, with the film’s costumes and environments inspiring many subsequent films and theater productions set in the same historical era.
The Children of Hiroshima (1952)
Takako Ishikawa is a schoolteacher off the coast of Hiroshima and hasn’t returned to her atomic bomb-stricken city in 4 years. His journey to Hiroshima becomes a journey to his destroyed homeland, in search of old surviving friends. The city has almost been rebuilt, but the tragedy is still very present: the disfigured faces, the shriveled limbs, the barren women and the handicapped children without mirth. In a blind old man accompanied by his nephew Taro Takako recognizes the servant of his family, destroyed with the house.
Japanese movie which bears witness to a dramatic moment in history such as the explosion of the bomb in Hiroshima. Director Kaneto Shindo adopts a lyrical and intense style, describing the details of the story with great realism. Filmed in 1953 and selected in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The masterpiece of a Japanese director little known in the West.
Japan, late 16th century: the potter Genjurō and his brother Tobei live with their wives Miyagi and Ohama in a village in the Omi region; Genjurō, convinced that he can earn a lot of money by selling his goods in the nearby city, travels to Omizo county together with Tobei, who joins him with the sole purpose of being able to become a samurai.
One of the great masterpieces in the history of cinema signed by the Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi. Historical setting in a dark and bloody Japan that looks like hell on earth. A universal esoteric story about demonic temptation masquerading as amorous passion. If you’ve never seen this japanese movie you absolutely have to fix it.
Gates of Hell (1953)
During the Heiji Rebellion in Japan in 1159, Lord Kiyomori left his castle to fight. While he is absent, some local lords attempt a coup to take over the Sanjo Castle. Samurai Endō Morito escorts the lady-in-waiting Kesa as she departs the palace disguised as the daimyō’s sister, giving her father and royal sister time to escape without being seen.
Japanese film gem forgotten in the West winner of an Academy Award for costume design, Gate of Hell it is a highly figurative film. The reproduction of the costumes and scenery of medieval Japan is extremely fascinating. A society at war where the arrogance and brutality of the Samurai are essential to survive. Again a recurring theme in the Japanese art house cinematography: sick love, possessiveness, inability to manage sentimental passions lead man to destroy himself and the world around him.
“Ben-Hur” is a epic movie historian of 1959 directed by William Wyler, based on the 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” by Lew Wallace. The film won eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and was a huge success with critics and audiences.
The film follows the life of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman living in the time of Jesus Christ. After being falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to years of slave labor, Ben-Hur vows revenge against his former friend and fellow student, Messala, for betraying him.
The story of Ben-Hur is intertwined with that of Jesus Christ, who is presented as a background character but influential on the plot. The film culminates in a spectacular chariot racing scene in Rome’s Circus Maximus, in which Ben-Hur competes against Messala. The cast of the film includes Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur, Jack Hawkins as the Roman patrician Quintus Arrio, Stephen Boyd as Messala and Haya Harareet as Esther, Ben-Hur’s childhood friend.
The film was a huge success for its direction, screenplay, acting and special effects, especially the chariot racing scene, which was acclaimed as one of the most epic sequences in the history of cinema. The film has become a cinematic classic and continues to be watched and loved by many people around the world.
“Spartacus” is a 1960 historical epic film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the true story of Spartacus, a slave gladiator who led a revolt against Roman rule in 73 BC.
The film stars Kirk Douglas in the title role, and includes an all-star cast, including Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov and Charles Laughton. The screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo, who had suffered the consequences of McCarthyism in Hollywood.
The plot of the film follows the story of Spartacus, an enslaved gladiator who is trained to fight in the city of Capua. After a humiliating defeat against a Roman gladiator, Spartacus leads a revolt against his oppressors and is soon joined by more slaves who want their freedom. Together, they form an army of rebels who challenge the Roman army in a series of epic battles.
The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor for Ustinov’s performance. It became a cinematic classic and influenced many subsequent epic films, with its iconic depiction of a revolt against a tyrannical oppressor.
The Gospel According to Matthew (1964)
A faithful account of the life of Jesus Christ taken from the Gospel of Matthew, the film starts with the announcement to Mary of the birth of the son of God, to show her marriage to Joseph and the flight into Egypt to escape the massacre of the innocents. In the second part we see Jesus, now an adult, overcoming temptations in the desert and then leaving for Israel, together with the Apostles, to preach the word of God, until his crucifixion and resurrection.
Film by the great Italian director and poet Pierpaolo Pasolini, played by non-professional actors and peasants, in line with the style of neorealism. The Gospel according to Matthew caused much discussion for its secular vision of the religious story. Blocked by censorship, he got the director a complaint for contempt of religion.
Simon of The Desert (1965)
It is a 1965 film directed by the director Luis Bunuel. The film tells the story of Simón (played by Claudio Brook), a saint who lives atop a pillar in the desert to try to achieve spiritual perfection.
The film is a satire on human ambition and organized religion. Simón is considered a saint by many people who gather around his pillar, but the film also shows how corrupt humanity is and how his followers try to manipulate his image for their own ends.
The film is known for its surreal structure and numerous symbolic images. Buñuel often makes use of shock imagery to create a strong impression on the viewer, and there are many scenes that can be interpreted in different ways.
It’s a film that deals with very complex issues, such as religion, public image and human corruption, through a very strong and original visual language. If you are passionate about auteur cinema it could be an excellent choice.
The Battle of Algiers (1966)
It is a famous Historical movie from 1966 directed by Gillo Pontecorvo which tells the story of the Algerian revolution against French colonial rule in the 1950s.
The film focuses on the events leading to the foundation of the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) and on the armed struggle against the French army, highlighting the strategies employed by the two sides in the conflict.
The film was shot in a realistic and documentary style, using a cast composed mainly of non-professional actors and accurately reproducing the real locations of the events.
The film focuses in particular on the figure of Ali La Pointe, a young Algerian who becomes one of the leaders of the resistance and on Colonel Mathieu, the French officer in charge of suppressing the revolt.
The film was critically acclaimed and won numerous awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. It is considered a classic of political cinema and an important historical document on the Algerian War of Independence.
Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972)
It’s a drama historical movie from 1972 directed by Werner Herzog, set during the 16th century Spanish expedition in search of the legendary golden city of El Dorado. The film centers on the figure of Don Lope de Aguirre, played by Klaus Kinski, an ambitious Spanish conquistador who leads the expedition into the Amazon jungle.
The film was shot largely in Peru, using local actors for the Native American roles. The film earned great critical and commercial success, becoming one of Herzog’s most famous films and one of the masterpieces of auteur cinema of the 1970s.
The film is particularly known for Kinski’s iconic performance, which brought to life one of cinema’s most memorable characters. The film has a strong symbolic and metaphorical charge, exploring themes such as ambition, madness, corruption and the descent towards self-destruction.
The film’s soundtrack, composed by Popol Vuh, a German new age music group, was also highly praised, helping to create the film’s surreal and mysterious atmosphere.
It is a film of great historical and cultural importance, which profoundly influenced arthouse cinema in the following years. His unique style and the unforgettable performance of Klaus Kinski make him a cornerstone of German and world cinema.
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Barry Lyndon is a 1975 Historical movie directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel “The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon” by William Makepeace Thackeray. Set in the second half of the 18th century, the film tells the story of Redmond Barry, a young Irishman of humble origins who tries to climb the social ladder to become a nobleman.
The film was acclaimed for its visual beauty, with cinematography by John Alcott and costume design by Milena Canonero, both of whom won Academy Awards for their work. Kubrick’s choice to use only natural light in photography has created very realistic and evocative images.
The film is also known for its length and slow pace, making it quite challenging for some viewers. However, many appreciate the detailed care and attention Kubrick has devoted to reconstructing the era, creating an immersive cinematic experience.
Barry Lyndon received seven Academy Award nominations, winning four for cinematography, costume design, production design and score. While the film was not a huge box office hit upon its release, it is now regarded as one of Kubrick’s masterpieces and one of the best films ever made about life in the 18th century.
The film was directed by Bernardo Bertolucci in 1976. It is a historical and political film which tells the story of two families, one peasant and one aristocratic, from the beginning of the 20th century until the end of the Second World War, through the lives of their children, Alfredo (played by Robert De Niro) and Olmo (played by Gérard Depardieu).
The film deals with issues such as class struggle, oppression and political resistance, and shows the gap between the two worlds, that of poor peasants and that of noble landowners, and how they are turned upside down by the advent of fascism.
The film is over five hours long and was made in two parts, each about two and a half hours long. The cast of the film is full of international cinema stars, including in addition to De Niro and Depardieu, also Burt Lancaster, Donald Sutherland, Sterling Hayden and Dominique Sanda.
1900 was met with mixed reviews upon its release, but is considered one of the most important films in Bertolucci’s filmography and a masterpiece of Italian cinema. Its length and complexity make it a challenging film, but its epic storytelling and strong political charge make it a memorable and unforgettable work.
In the third century after Christ Sebastiane was part of the emperor Diocletian’s guards. When he tries to avoid the killing of one of the emperor’s fiancés, he is severely punished, deprived of his role and sent into exile to a distant location. People think that Sebastiane is an early Christian but in reality he worships the god Phoebus Apollo with which he sublimates his erotic attraction for male bodies.
Reinterpretation of the story of San Sebastiano through the apocryphal gospels signed by the icon director of the gay movement Derek Jarman. A powerful historical metaphor on discrimination and persecution against homosexuality. Upon its release, the film caused a scandal in England and was censored in many other countries. In fact, the bodies and amorous effusions of the Roman centurions are shown without filters. The film was made by Jarman with live dialogue in Latin.
The Name of the Rose (1986)
It is a 1986 film directed by Jean Jacques Annaud, based on the homonymous novel by Umberto Eco. The film is set in the fourteenth century in a Benedictine abbey where a series of mysterious murders occur. The protagonist, played by Sean Connery, is a Franciscan friar named William of Baskerville, who is called in to investigate the murders together with his assistant Adso of Melk, played by Christian Slater.
Throughout the film, Guglielmo uses his knowledge of philosophy and science to solve crimes, while Adso falls in love with a young woman who lives in the abbey. The film also explores the tensions between the Church and secular institutions, as well as the power struggle within the abbey itself.
The film was a major box office success and received many positive reviews from critics, who praised its faithfulness to Eco’s novel, its impressive cinematography, and the strong performances of the lead actors. The film was also nominated for numerous awards, winning the César Award for Best Cinematography and the BAFTA Award for Best Production Design.
It is a compelling and visually stunning film that deals with important themes such as religion, science and power, giving the viewer an evocative look at life in the Middle Ages.
“Ran” is a 1985 Japanese historical epic film directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film was inspired by Shakespeare’s play “King Lear” and follows the story of Hidetora Ichimonji, a Japanese warlord who decides to divide his kingdom among his three sons rather than pass it on to his natural heir, causing turmoil and tragedy.
The film is known for its spectacular cinematography, use of color and its soundtrack. He has also been lauded for his ability to convey a sense of grandeur and tragedy through the use of powerful and symbolic imagery.
“Ran” has received numerous nominations and awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Director and a Cannes Film Festival win for Best Director. It is considered one of Kurosawa’s masterpieces and one of the most important films in the history of japanese cinema.
The Last Emperor (1987)
The film was directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and released in 1987. It is a biopic about the life of the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi, played by three different actors depending on the age of the character.
The story begins with Pu Yi’s dethronement by the Communist Chinese government and then moves on to show his life as emperor, starting with his coronation at the age of three. The film follows Pu Yi through his childhood, adolescence and adulthood, showing his relationships with his advisers, his family, his wives and other members of the imperial court.
The film won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He has also received many other international awards and recognitions. The film was praised for its period-accurate reconstruction and attention to detail, as well as the performances of the actors, soundtrack and cinematography.
It’s a film that tells the story of a man who went through an extraordinary experience, but finally found that his life had changed forever. The film offers an interesting insight into the 20th century Chinese empire, a thousand-year-old civilization that underwent profound political and social changes throughout the 20th century.
“Kundun” is a 1997 Historical movie directed by Martin Scorsese which chronicles the life of the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, from the age of two until his flight to India in 1959, due to the invasion of Tibet by communist China.
The film is a faithful depiction of the life of the Dalai Lama, played by Tibetan actor Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong. The story begins when young Tenzin is cast as the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, and shows his upbringing and rise to power during a tumultuous time in Tibet’s history.
The film also explores the complex relationship between Tibet and China, which led to the conquest of Tibet and the exile of the Dalai Lama. Scorsese takes a poetic and spiritual approach in his depiction of the Dalai Lama’s life, using evocative imagery and an evocative soundtrack to evoke a sense of spirituality and inner peace.
The film received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography. “Kundun” is a touching and poetic portrait of the Dalai Lama’s life and his struggle to maintain peace and spirituality in his homeland.
Singing Behind Screens (2003)
It is a 2003 film directed by the director Ermanno Olmi, starring Hiroshi Abe, Béatrice Romand and Jacques Gamblin. The film is an international co-production between Italy, France and Japan, and was presented in competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
The plot of the film takes place during the Meiji era of Japan in the 19th century. The story follows a young Japanese medical student, Muzuki, who is sent to a remote island in Japan to assist the local doctor. While on the island, Muzuki meets a young French woman named Alice, who lives with her father, a well-known artist. Muzuki falls in love with Alice, but has to deal with the difficulties of an intercultural relationship and the political tensions that are emerging in Japan at the time.
The film is notable for its visual aesthetics, with careful use of color and light to create a dreamy, dreamlike atmosphere. The soundtrack of the film is also very impressive, with music composed by Ennio Morricone.
It is a very poetic and sensitive film, which explores themes such as love, cultural identity and the conflict between tradition and modernity. It is a lyrical and delicate work that captivates the viewer with its visual beauty and emotional depth.
Apocalypto is an action, adventure and Historical movie directed by Mel Gibson and released in 2006. The plot takes place in 15th century Mesoamerica, and follows the life of a young Mayan hunter named Jaguar Paw, played by Rudy Youngblood.
The story begins with a surprise attack by an enemy tribe which carries off Jaguar Paw and many other members of his tribe as captives for human sacrifice. Jaguar Paw’s wife and their young son manage to hide in a hole in the ground, while he desperately tries to find a way to escape and get back to his family.
The film features many scenes of violence and human sacrifice as well as realistic depictions of ancient Mayan practices and the culture of Mesoamerica. The story unfolds through action and tension as Jaguar Paw tries to escape from captivity and save his family.
The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography and received critical acclaim for its historical fidelity and its ability to authentically showcase Mayan culture. However, the film has also been criticized for its overly violent and stereotypical depiction of indigenous peoples. Apocalypto is a action movie gripping and spectacular that offers a glimpse into an ancient era and culture.
The horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation in Piedmont, a film about the Resistance in the form of a fairy tale had never been seen before. With Francesco Baccini, Serena Grandi and Bebo Storti. Awarded at the Salento International Film, at the MIFF Milano International Film Festival (Best Editing), at the Terre di Siena Film Festival (Critics Award “Music Feel”), at the Brazov Film Festival (Best Costumes), at the Busseto Film Music Festival ( Best Soundtrack), at the “Stories in History” International Festival (Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress).
The Monk (2011)
In seventeenth-century Spain, a child is abandoned at the door of a monastery. As an adult he will become the Capuchin father Ambrosio. Raised with the friars, he is esteemed for having always been an incorruptible man of God, of great moral and spiritual rigour. Ambrosio is an example for others. However, he suddenly finds himself facing temptations due to a man who arrives at the convent.
One of the best Historical movies set in the Middle Ages, made in 2011. Filmed in a claustrophobic location within the walls of a medieval convent, similar to that of Umberto Eco’s famous novel The Name of the Rose, The monk, interpreted by Vincent Cassel, it’s a French film, directed by Dominik Moll. Balancing between drama and thriller which also partially merges with the horror genre. The theme is that of satanic possession which destroys man through beauty and seduction. But it is also the opposite theme: the extremely rigorous man of God, who mortifies the body, who becomes a victim of a terrible spiritual fanaticism.
Son of Saul (2015)
It is a 2015 Hungarian film directed by László Nemes and interpreted by Géza Röhrig. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The film is set in the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust. The story follows the life of Saul Ausländer, a Jewish prisoner who works as a member of the Sonderkommando, a group of prisoners forced to work in the camp’s crematoria and gas chambers. While working, Saul discovers the body of a boy he believes is his son and decides to give the little boy a proper burial.
The plot of the film is very raw and disturbing, showing the horror of the Holocaust and the role Jewish prisoners are forced to play in the concentration camps. Nemes’ direction is particularly interesting, as most of the film is shot in close-up on the protagonist’s face, creating a sense of claustrophobia and isolation. The film was critically acclaimed for its realistic and respectful depiction of the Holocaust, as well as the performances of the actors.
It is a powerful and moving film that highlights the brutality and humanity of the Holocaust. It’s not an easy film to watch, but it’s an important testimony to one of the darkest periods in human history.
“Silence” is a 2016 film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 historical novel of the same name. The film is set in the 17th century and follows the story of two young Portuguese Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (played by Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (played by Adam Driver), who travel to Japan to find their mentor, Father Ferreira ( played by Liam Neeson), who is said to have fallen into apostasy.
During their journey, the two young priests encounter a country that is extremely hostile to Christianity, where Christians are persecuted and killed. The film stages their struggle to find their father Ferreira and their experience of faith in the face of violence and suffering.
The film is a profound reflection on faith, doubt and suffering, and addresses universal themes such as the search for meaning in difficult situations, the consistency of one’s values in the face of adversity, and the tension between personal freedom and respect for cultures and the traditions of others.
‘Silence’ has received many positive reviews for Scorsese’s direction, breathtaking cinematography, screenplay and the performances of the actors. However, it was also criticized for being a slow film with a complicated and heavy plot.
“Silence” is a challenging but profound film, which addresses universal existential themes in a careful and respectful way.
The Northman (2022)
“The Northman” is an action movie, adventure movie and historian directed by Robert Eggers of 2022. The film is set in 10th century Iceland and follows the story of a young Viking, played by Alexander Skarsgård, who seeks revenge for the death of his father.
The cast of the film also includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke and Björk. The film score was composed by Mark Korven.
Director Robert Eggers is best known for directing ‘The Witch’ and ‘The Lighthouse’, and ‘The Northman’ maintains the same dark and haunting tone of his previous films.
The film was shot in a variety of locations including Northern Ireland and New Zealand, with a spectacular setting and stunning cinematography.
“The Northman” is an epic story of revenge and has a strong visual impact, thanks to the direction of Eggers and the cast of talented actors.
“Babylon” is a historical drama film directed by Damien Chazelle, the Academy Award-winning director of “La La Land.” The film is set in the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1920s and follows the story of a young actress and a black chauffeur as they struggle to establish themselves in the film industry.
The cast of the film includes several talented actors such as Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Li Jun Li, Jovan Adepo, Olivia Wilde, Max Minghella, Katherine Waterston and others.
The film has been in production for several years and the director has stated that he sees it as an homage to classic Hollywood, both in terms of style and storytelling, and has been described as an epic that explores the dark side of the film industry , with themes such as power, corruption and the fight for gender and racial equality.