The Conqueror (Taras Bulba)
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If you are looking for in-depth historical analysis, this is not the piece for you! Set in the mid 16th century, the tyrannical Polish state seeks to subjugate the noble Ukrainian country. That's as complex as the narrative delves into this particular conflict--Poland bad, Ukraine (and by extension Russia) good. I guess it works out well, as the Cossacks are depicted early in the film as spoiling for a fight. They are only looking for a worthy opponent! A full scale war in enacted, even as Taras Bulba's younger son is enchanted by a Polish princess. The movie is set mainly upon the battlefield with lots of bravado, camaraderie, and enthusiastic (and vocal) patriotism.Read more ›
When Taras Bulba's sons return home from study in Kiev, they all decide to seek adventure and go to the Zaporozhian Sich. The Cossacks there are restless as it is a time of peace in the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth (which they are part of), so they ponder if they should attack the Ottomans or Tartars. When Taras Bulba gets word from one of his men that Poles have killed everyone at his estate, he directs his wrath at them. His man also proclaims the Poles are up to no good in many other regards, so all the Cossacks there are riled up and ready for war.
Knowing that the Russian government produced Taras Bulba is a key detail in understanding the stance the film takes. One could easily construe that this movie contains overtures of propaganda. The movie takes place in Ukraine, but all the Polish hating Cossacks refer to their land as Russia. If one didn't know any better, one would think they are Russians, which they are not. Although Ukraine is mentioned a couple times, it is always presented as if it was part of Russia. You are also not going to be able to escape the many speeches that every dying Cossack gives, in which they sing praise to having the honor to die for Russia.
The evil villains of the story are the Poles. They Poles are inept fighters and their elite forces, the winged hussars, have armor so thin that a Cossack blade can cut right through it.Read more ›
This movie is very simplistic and although interesting at times you will find yourself asking the question am I really still watching this.
If you want a movie depicting a Russian / Poland conflict buy the movie "1612". It is light years ahead of this movie in quality.
Bottom line is if you like period pieces with large scale battle scenes and war this movie is way down the list of must sees and will leave you wanting more out of the movie.
The Conqueror would clearly appeal to the Russian patriot. But it is a story that Americans can relate to as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great costumes, the best part are the small vignettes of the Jews.Published 2 months ago by Stephen Shooster
This is a terrible adaptation of the novel, and the production does absolutely nothing to compensate for the blatant propaganda in this movie. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Eric Haagenstad
Much better then I thought it was going to be, after reading reviews.Published 15 months ago by R. C. Randall