Have you noticed virtually every medieval-themed movie out there - Braveheart, the Messenger, Joan of Arc, Timeline... the English are always the bad guys! Not just a little bad, but outright EVIL. They slaughter noncombatants like it's cool, and perpetuate all sorts of terrible crimes. Kill the men, rape the women, eat the children! You could argue that this is just historical fact - the hundred years war and the wars with Scotland and Ireland DID in fact happen. But most of the bad things they're portrayed doing not only aren't based on fact, but really make no sense at all. Like that scene in Timeline when the English nobleman stabs the time traveler for having a french name... which really makes no sense, since an English noble would most likely be Norman... which is in France. Good job guys! In fact this idea of racial superiority wouldn't even be invented for centuries - the Middle Ages were about RELIGIOUS superiority. Jews were bad because they killed Christ. Muslims were bad because... they weren't Christian. Pagans were bad for the same reason. Joan of Arc being French wasn't a good enough reason to kill her... they had to find a RELIGIOUS justification for it... that she practiced witchcraft. Now I'm getting off track, so I'll get to the point - how did the English end up the Medieval Nazis? Is there a logical reason, or is hollywood just incapable of seeing anything except in black and white terms?
something to believe.
19th February 2005
Well the thing about movies like Braveheart and Joan of Arc is frankly, in order for the protagonist to be effective, they need a good 'antagonist' which requires something as equally terrible to the story as the protagonist is good to it. The English just happen to have been at war with the homes of the heroes in question and are as such regarded as villains in the films.
4th August 2006
Any country/nation that has a history of empire building will always have really shitty and horrifying aspects to that history.
The Romans, Mongols, Japan, Russia, Germany, France...... Name any sort of "empire" or size of "empire", and the ones in control will have a bloody history of war, conquest, and death. It goes hand in hand with forging, expanding and maintaining an empire.
That doesn't mean that the people are evil, just that the rulers and those who do their bidding are prepared to commit evil acts.
Yes, I understand that. But that isn't a justification for demonizing the said people, or lying about what they did. How about The Patriot, when the British trap the people in the church and burn them alive. They never did anything like that in the entire war!
The Great Charm
14th April 2007
Bohemund;4745616 How about The Patriot, when the British trap the people in the church and burn them alive. They never did anything like that in the entire war!
The "bad guys" of the movie always have to do something really bad to try and draw heat from the audience, thats how people stay interested. Its like wrestling. And the movie makers could careless about accuracy.
Oh, I know. But it's irritating to hear these movie makers rambling about how sophisticated their "art" is, when in fact it's black and white rubbish that looks like something a 9-year old would think of. It's called ambiguity, or shades of gray. Show the good guys doing bad things out of necessity! Show villains who turn out to have good intentions! Make the moral situation more complicated!
our medievel times were primitive..
i recall americans killing native americans and their buffallo. thats virtually genocide... we were no more nazi-like than any other primitive developing nation..
29th January 2005
Bah Spain was just as bad in South America.
It's all just stuff people do. Hollywood likes to submit everything to the bad/good mold.
Bohemund;4745704Oh, I know. But it's irritating to hear these movie makers rambling about how sophisticated their "art" is, when in fact it's black and white rubbish that looks like something a 9-year old would think of. It's called ambiguity, or shades of gray. Show the good guys doing bad things out of necessity! Show villains who turn out to have good intentions! Make the moral situation more complicated!
But that's not what those specific movies are about. Both Braveheart and the Patriot are hero-driven stories, and take after the same mold as any other such story. In those the bad guys are evil, and the good guys are good. If it was an exploration of moral ambiguity, like some war movies are, then they could have shades of gray.
Then again, I don't think they needed to go that far to show the British as being the clear bad guys. In both cases the British were the invaders or occupiers, and that is more then enough to make them clear bad guys.
My face hurts.
9th March 2008
Hm I thought the english were evil,oh well.