How do you wrap up 2016?! TV and Streaming BARBARIANS RISING


2016 was a FANTASTIC year for TV.

Netflix and streaming options such as Amazon Prime and Hulu has effectively changed how the world consumes and watches tv.

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Tonight I discovered History Channel’s BARBARIANS RISING, which tells the tale of one of the greatest warriors in the history of the world, Hannibal Barca, and his insane dream, obsession, vision, to conquer the unconquerable Rome.

I have my issues with the HISTORY CHANNEL, I think their VIKINGS TV show, that paints a friendly, proto-feminist, misunderstood anti-hero view of the Vikings, is irresponsible and misguided film-making at its worst.

I don’t expect a documentary, and even in a documentary, much of what we know, must be colored, romanticized, dramatized. The truth of over 2000 years ago like the truth of yesterday, will never be exactly seen by any two people, exactly the same.

But that said while the telling is fluid, blatantly changing the morality of what is known is not. That is simple mendacity.

It’s white-washing of history, that is beyond romanticism to bald-face lying. Like making the ancient Egyptians white. :).

Here’s the thing the Vikings, in their approach to nonvikings, were proto-Nazis, Nazis in their purest form. They were what Nazis dreamed of being. They believed in rape, and pillage, and death, and wholesale slaughter of their enemies. They were in battle, drug addled butchers and thieves and rapists, who put to the sword any land they could reach. War and Pillaging, was not an end, it was a practice, it was a purpose, it was a past time, it was the reason to wake up and the reason to go to bed. As it was for many of the ancient people. Blood, unfortunately, is under most of our ancestors nails.

They did monstrous things, but they also did admirable things. But art, to be honest, must not dismiss the one, to elevate the other. And that’s what the show VIKINGS does, it glorifies that which has no glory in it, and ignores that, which should not be ignored. And to do this is analagous to havaing a show called Nazis, and to portray them as heroic, with no look into the programs of genocide, and the Nazi Work and Death camps.

I’m not saying don’t have a show about Vikings, but tell the truth, don’t make saints out of sinners, and if you find your characters are too reprehensible when you do that, then maybe that’s telling you something.

So I have my issues with HISTORY CHANNEL.

But those issues do not extend to BARBARIANS RISING. Which quite frankly is my last great television discovery of 2016!

 

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The first episode, RESISTANCE, simply must see television.

“I swear by the Deathless Gods that I shall not rest till the heart of Rome bleeds dry on the sword of Carthage.” –Hannibal Barca, Son of Carthage, One of the Greatest Generals in the History of the World

 

This is one I have to own the Blu-Ray of! It’s not a show you want to have disappear off of streaming.

Get your copy here:

 

 

Barbarians Rising [Blu-ray]

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2011 Upcoming Movies! Pt 2 of 3! THREE MUSKETEERS and Alexandre Dumas and Gordon Parks

October 2011, at this point is looking pretty bleak for films. The most interesting things?

Well something that could have been interesting: Paul W.S. Anderson is making yet another remake of Alexandre Dumas’ THE THREE MUSKETEERS.

A brief aside.

Alexandre Dumas, was the son of Thomas Alexandre Dumas, of Haitian birth, he was the Colin Powell of his age (only like, popular 🙂 ), he was Napoleon’s greatest and most feared general. nicknamed The Black Devil and alternately the Black Giant, Unequaled in combat and strategy, he was worshiped by his soldiers and the French people, and feared and hated for his popularity, even by Napoleon. This led to well known machinations against, what could be argued was, the true power behind Napoleon, Thomas Alexandre Dumas, which led to the Black Giant’s arrest and incarceration.

So Alexandre Dumas, a mix of his father’s darkness and his mother’s light, grew up on his fathers exploits, and all his works are about his father’s courage, his father’s honor, and the wrongs done to his father. All Alexandre’s works were praises to his beloved father, The Black Giant, and castigations of the monarchy that betrayed and brought low, the nation’s greatest warrior and its truest son. And if the father was the nation’s greatest warrior, the son was the nation’s greatest writer, its greatest Renaissance man.

I say all this to say, it would be great if one effing day the three Musketeers were played, appropriately, by Moors, Black actors.

The closest cinema has come to acknowledging this, is Gerard Depardieu darkening his skin and curling his hair, to play the young Mulatto Alexandre Dumas in the 2010 French film L’Autre Dumas. A film that of course has not received any US release. It’s chuckle inducing, that here in the 21st century, we still have White actors doing Black face, AT BEST, or at worst simply refusing to acknowledge the fact that many of the men who defined the culture of a young Europe and a young World… were Moors.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Depardieu, he is one of the world’s greatest actors, I adore his CYRANO and his attachment to the L’Autre Dumas film guarantees it an exposure, it would perhaps otherwise lack. Still, I hope we can get actors of color, playing historical characters of color. And maybe Depardieu’s film, for at least going through the steps of trying to show an ethnic pedigree to France’s greatest writer, is a step, a poor, wobbly one, in the right direction.

At least it’s better than films like THE THREE MUSKETEERS that historically have given no indication of a France, peopled with Moors.

So yeah, I have very little interest in yet another whitewashed production of the THREE MUSKETEERS.

I hold out, because of this presentiment I have, for the director (a new generation Gordon Parks perhaps, the departed Parks… himself a Renaissance man, perhaps the last one- Cowboy, Photographer, Writer, Musician, Filmmaker… Parks’ film THOMASINE & BUSHROD showing his skill at period work) who will do a THREE MUSKETEERS film, that will finally do both the father and the son… the honor they have earned.