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The year is 1348. Europe has fallen under the shadow of the Black Death. As the plague decimates all in its path, fear and superstition are rife. There are rumors of a village hidden in marshland that the plague cannot reach. There is talk of a necromancer who leads the village and is able to bring the dead back to life. Ulric (Sean Bean), a fearsome knight, is charged by the church to investigate these rumors. Joined by a young monk and a small consort of soldiers, the journey ahead will lead them into the heart of darkness where faith is challenged and put to the ultimate test.
• Bringing Black Death to Life
• Interviews with Cast and Crew
• Behind the Scenes Footage
• HDNet: A Look at Black Death
• Theatrical Trailer
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Previous reviews mentioned a lack of a story, but I think given the context and the setting, the story was very compelling. Lots of action and suspense kept the story moving with very beautiful cinematic elements. The fact that the characters motives are always 'suspect' makes for twists in the plot that are really dynamic, and ultimately leave you to second-guess which 'side' you are supporting.
The topic of the early Catholic church and inquisitions into heretical personalities definitely cast a dark shadow of fear and drama over Europe at the time, and as such the topic is handled really simply but with alot of raw energy. Not quite giving it a 'glamorous' perspective, and consequently also making the view second-guess the point of the protagonists on their mission. Regardless of the end message, the topic is addressed in a compelling way, and you as the viewer are left to imagine the era with renewed interest.
I felt like this film had traits reminiscent of the movie "The New World", in that the fear of the unknown was a major aspect in the daily lives of people at the time, and this movie portrays the seriousness of how religion and faith were judged (if wrongly at the time) as essential to existence.
The climax also leaves the viewer to question the result of the main character, and whether any actions justify violence & execution.
In short, if you like medieval stories and are willing to forgive a few shortcomings, Black Death is definitely worth a viewing.
Has some great parallels in my opinion, and of course Sean Bean's excellent acting as usual.