Movies become the perfect blank history canvas that existed before the invention of the camera. Although directors and researchers can only rely on archives, paintings, and literature to depict the ancient civilizations that flourished in history, cinema as a medium acts as a time machine that stops at various stages of history where many dynasties fought for their kingdoms.
These stories mostly revolve around the wars he fought and the philosophical influence of religion on ancient civilizations. However, one must always bear in mind that historical films are nothing but the work of many interpretations and films are subject to history in order to over-dramatize already dramatic history. Here are 10 films that bring us closer to world civilizations that really did exist with inspiring stories about wars, kingdoms, and religion.
wrestler The film is set in the Roman Empire 180 AD and stars Russell Crowe as the Roman-Spanish general Maximus Decimus Merdios stripped of his ranks by Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who rises to power. Maximus is then taken as a slave and driven to fight for his life as a gladiator as he avenges the death of his family.
The film was directed by Ridley Scott and written by David Franzoni, John Logan and William Nicholson, and is based on the book. Those about to die Written by Daniel B. mane. Franzoni was inspired to write a story about the Roman Empire on his trip to Europe, where he saw many arenas. On his trip to Baghdad, he read the book of Mani, which helped him visualize it wrestler. Ridley Scott was inspired by a painting Police Verso by Jean-Léon Gerome, which helped the director visualize ancient Rome. The film was a commercial and cult classic, and is known to be one of the best epic historical dramas of all time.
Troy It is the most popular representation of ancient Greece and follows the infamous Trojan War. The film is directed by Wolfgang Peterson and is loosely based on Homer Eliade and Quintus Smyrnaeus’s Posthomerica. There is no objective explanation for the events that occurred, and Mycenae myths have survived through Homeric literature, including King Agamemnon reuniting the Greek kingdoms.
Every bit of the movie is epic and boldly big, as Brad Pitt plays Achilles, who invades the ancient city of Troy with his tribe. The film shows the delectable lifestyle enjoyed by men of that era, which is popularized in literature. On the other hand, Troy is defended by Hector’s Trojan army, which is shown to be responsible, civil, and rational. The movie is mostly known for the action sequences between the two and throughout the movie as it interprets the popular Trojan War. However, many historians point out historical inaccuracies in the film.
300 It is a simplified interpretation of the Battle of Thermopylae in the Gerco-Persian Wars, which took place in 480 BC at Thermopuylae in Greece. The place was known as a coastal corridor that existed in the era of classical antiquity between the 8th century BC and the 5th century AD, which intertwined the civilizations of ancient Rome and Greece. The film centers on the Greco-Persian Wars fought in 480 BC between King Leonidas, played by Gerard Butler, and Persian King Xerxes.
Leonidas famously led 300 soldiers against the 300,000-strong Persian forces which inspired the film’s title. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, and was adapted from the 1988 comic series of the same name, which also became the stylistic inspiration for the film. Filmed entirely in a studio, except for a shot of a galloping horse, it was an adaptation of the comic book with a chroma key overlay to replicate the comic book’s color composition.
in ApocalyptoAnd Mel Gibson as director takes a deeper interest in the Maya civilization, which consists of an ethnolinguistic group indigenous to Mesoamerica. The film is set in 1502 and follows the journey of Jaguar Paw, played by Rudy Youngblood, a peaceful hunter who is captured by an invading group along with his tribe. After his village is ransacked, Jaguar is chosen for a human sacrifice, from which he has to escape to reunite with his family.
The film’s cast consists of Native Americans and Native Mexican actors to authentically represent the Mayan dynasty. Gibson, along with writer Farhad Safinia, was interested in making a film about ancient cultures before the arrival of Europeans to America after Gibson’s success. brave heart. The set was designed mostly, avoiding CGI as much as possible, and the language spoken by the original cast was Mayan. The film was critically acclaimed and received positive responses from Mexico as many of the issues depicted in the film including environmental degradation, consumption and corruption are still relevant today.
6 brave heart
brave heart is an epic historical drama directed by Mel Brooks and set in Scotland in the late 13th century and chronicling the lead-up to the First War of Scottish Independence. Brooks also plays the main character of Sir William Wallace in the film, who was a Scottish warrior who led the Scottish army against the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Most of the film was shot in Scotland and the battle sequences were filmed in Ireland with members of the Irish Reserve Army serving as cast members in the battle scenes. To save cost, the same cast was used to film both sides of the battle. The film increased tourism in Scotland and earned Gibson critical acclaim as a director.
5 Ben Hur
Ben Hur It is a fictional interpretation of Jerusalem in AD 26 with Christianity as the background of the story. The movie was an adaptation of Lew Wallace Ben-Hur: The Story of the Messiah, which follows Judas Ben-Hur, played by Charles Heston, a Jewish prince from Jerusalem who is captured by the Romans along with his family. After an encounter with Jesus Christ and witnessing the crucifixion, Ben-Hur converted to Christianity after surviving his ordeal.
The film is known for its nine-minute chariot race with a musical by Miklós Rózsa that is still considered one of the most iconic scenes in cinema. The author of the book conducted extensive research on the Middle East to remain authentic in the biblical interpretation of Jerusalem in that era.
Cleopatra It tells of the struggle of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra to save Egypt from imperial invasions by the Romans. The film was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and also depicted an emotional love triangle full of lust, power, and sacrifice between Cleopatra, played by Elizabeth Taylor, Julius Caesar, played by Rex Harrison, and Mark Antony, played by Richard Burton.
The movie is based on the book The life and times of Cleopatra by Carlo Maria Franzero and was the brainchild of film producer Walter Wagner, who had aspired to make a biopic about Cleopatra after reading the fantasy novel One of Cleopatra’s Nights and another great romance and William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. The Cleopatra character portrayed in the film was entirely inspired by the fictional representation of the real-life queen as a seductress, popularized by Shakespeare and the historians Plutarch, Suetonius, and Appian.
agora It is a fictional biography of a real Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician named Hypatia who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. She is the first female mathematician whose work and life have been well archived by historians and portrayed in plays and literature by several authors.
Set in the year 391 AD in Alexandria, Hypatia, played by Rachel Weisz, investigates the geocentric Ptolemaic system and the heliocentric model. However, religious upheaval interferes with her work as she tries to save the age of classical antiquity achieved scientifically. The film portrayed the conflict between religion and science with the rise of Christianity in Europe. The film has been criticized for historical and scientific inaccuracies, but it became the highest-grossing film in Spain in 2009.
2 Mulan: Rise of a Warrior
Mulan: Rise of a Warrior is a Chinese war film starring Zhao Wei as Mulan, who was a legendary folk heroine who took her father’s place in the army in the fourth and sixth centuries of Chinese history. The character was popularized by the 1998 animated movie mulan, but The movie was very different from the animated version, and director Jingle Ma imagined the character differently. The film is set in the year 450 AD under the Chinese Northern Wei dynasty, which is under threat from the Rouran tribes. When a retired soldier is conscripted to serve the army to protect his district, his edgy daughter Hua Mulan slips into the army as a man. Mulan needs to keep her secret in order to continue to fight the battle.
Caligula He shares an interesting history produced by Bob Guccione, founder of the porn magazine Penthouse. The film was conceived solely with the aim of producing an action drama with an A-list cast. The film starred Malcolm McDowell as Caligula, who was the third Roman Empire, ruling from AD 37 until his assassination in AD 41. The ruler is recorded to be a noble ruler in the first six months of his reign. However, history indicates that Caligula degenerated into barbarism, cruelty, and sexual perversion and became known as a tyrant.
The film is known for its explicit depiction of sexuality and has been cited as among the worst films ever made, but is considered a cult classic for its historical portrayal of a perverted tyrant.