Excellent but underrated film
This is one of the few movies I've ever seen where the whole audience broke into spontaneous, loud applause a third of the way in.
Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.
I didn’t really have many expectations going into the movie (good or bad), but I actually really enjoyed it. I really liked the characters and the banter between them.
Dinin Do Urden
Ok... So... As other reviews pointed out, some facts are just plain wrong and important elements totally omitted.However, the worse thing about this documentary is the INSANE political position it takes... I mean... It is worse than Good US and Evil Russians or Germans.
Each "Barbarian" (some of which not being Barbarians... Hannibal or Spartacus for instance) is depicted as a Freedom Fighter versus the Roman Empire, the most EEEEEVIIIIIIL empire exiting on Earth.I'm not saying Roman Empire was good and gentle and yes they oppressed various cultures, yes they had slaves (as everybody had during those times... Athens did, Sparta did, Persian Empire did and most of the Barbaric factions), and yes, like any army (even US one) they committed atrocities, but Goddammit! This is supposed to be a historical documentary not a Marvel movie...And Ok, it's focused on the Barbarians, not on the Roman Empire. So I can get there is no reason to mention the insane development the Roman Empire provided to the entire occidental Europe. No need to say that it took almost a millenia for Europe to recover from the fall and get back to the same levels of health, safety, stable governments etc. Ok. It's not the focus and it's not what is driving me insane.
No, what drives me crazy is that you can be prepared to ear like 10000 times: "Romans oppressed and raped and killed and raped and oppressed, and raped". "In their arrogance, Roman Empire..." all this in a very dramatic way, always highlighting how bad and evil Romans were..And then: "Boudicca killed 10,000 Civilians". This is a f****g War Crime level of evilness. But no... They say this like just a simple normal fact.. Like, "but yeah. It's OK you know? It's normal, it's again the Roman Empire, so that's fine". No mention of torture for the Barbarians? No rape? No genocide?Give me a break.... Too cringy... Way too cringy...What's the ptoblem? Is the producer / director jealous his country never shine in such a way for so long or what?
Why would you use American military veterans to explain Roman history, European history, instead of a real and better documented historian, albeit an European one?Why would you skip 2 essential pieces of Roman history like Caesar in Gaul and Trajan in Dacia?Why would you discard certain historic facts and instead dramatise the outcomes? Or goals?Visually an story-wise it is attractive, but historically, not.
I just finished watching the this series and I enjoyed it very much!I cannot say how much I appreciated that people who were, historically, from the African continent, had dark skin. That was so lovely to see! I'd never seen a dark- skinned Hannibal before, even though it makes worlds of sense that he wasn't white. Some commentors are complaining about this and stating he shouldn't have been "African looking" because he was descendant from Phoenicians? Well, my mother and every single one of my ancestors from her side are white Germans, yet looking at me, you would not know. Human genetics sure are a thing of wonder! Trying to hide the fact that you do not want a great figure of history to look a certain way behind a pseudo-scientific comment on a TV series is a strange thing to do. Personally, I was so happy that it occurred to someone that Hannibal and his people, no matter what he looked like exactly, couldn't have been white and cast the actors accordingly because it's 2017 and it matters.Another thing I appreciated a great deal was the diversity in the historians and other experts that were consulted. It was so so refreshing and what they had to say was extremely interesting to me! There were many historians consulted, of course, but also other professionals with relevant input. A CEO speaks when it comes to explaining the mindset of an opportunistic ruler and actual Civil Rights fighters from the USA share what they know whenever the topic of slavery arises, which it often does, or when the psyche/actions of an oppressed group needs to be analysed and explained. Furthermore, I'd like to mention that for the first time in any historic documentary I've ever seen, not all of the historians are old white men! Young, accomplished historians of different ethnicities speak on several topics. There were a few interviews with an expert who was a woman, too, but not many. I like the idea that for the purpose of dealing with an empire that influenced so many different cultures and ways of life across such a large territory, people with different viewpoints and strengths came together. I liked that the documentary focused on a small number of female figures, too. I'd never dealt with Boudica before and now I know of her. I do not doubt that things were left out, as this series has four episodes, each of them being roughly the length of a movie. I do, however, feel that they did very well giving the layman an overview of what resistance to the Roman Empire looked like throughout the centuries. All four directions and the borders running along them are talked about and the maps, which are shown repeatedly, are extremely helpful and visualize the shifting of the borders well. I imagine that a selection for peoples to go into detail about had to be made and I like the results.As for the violence: Every episode starts with a warning about intense violence and there truly is a lot of fighting, killing, and a general realistic depiction of human suffering. However, unlike in many other series of this kind, there are no unrealistic amounts of blood spurting, there are no sex scenes, no zooming in on corpses with maggots everywhere and there is no nudity.
"Barbarians Rising" offers a revolutionary perspective on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. The traditional approach to the subject is that the Grecian "civilization" gave birth to the Roman "civilization" and eventually led the path to "civilization" as we know it today. This series has a different perspective, showing how the Roman "civilization" was an oppressor, taking lands and resources from less organized peoples and cultures, using harsh and often barbaric techniques. You may find yourself cheering for the "barbarians" who resemble what are traditionally known today as "freedom fighters". The idea that Rome was spreading civilization is turned upside down. Instead the makers of this documentary suggest that the Romans are invaders who rape, pillage, and plunder their way around the Mediterranean seeking resources and slaves to maintain their lifestyle.The series focuses on Hannibal (died 181 BCE) in Northern Africa, Viriatus (died 139 BCE) in Lusitania (Portugal), Spartacus (died in 71 BCE), Arminius (died in 21 CE) in Germany, Queen Boudica (died 60 CE) and Fritigern (died 380 CE) in Britain, Alaric (died 410 CE) of the Visigoths, Attila the Hun (died 453 CE), and Genseric (died 477 CE) of the Vandals.The series is a bit blood thirsty, but so were the times. There are maps and voice overs to keep you well informed.