What does this film, set during the Roman conquest of Britain, tell us about the effects of reciprocal barbarity between the Roman and British tribal kingdoms during wartime? How does the story of Etain, the Pict scout illustrate? How does the film attempt to fill in the historical blank with regard to the “Lost Ninth Legion” of Rome? How does the film fare in its portrayal of small unit dynamics in its development of the story of the small group of Roman soldiers lost behind enemy lines? How does it illustrate, in the fate of the character Marcos, the great risks taken by those that break trust in such situations? Why does the film largely pass on exploring the question of the tradeoff between the civilizing influence of empire and the often cruel means of forming or maintaining empire? Does this question of ‘civilizational warts’ explain the ongoing fascination American and British film-makers have with telling stories set during the Roman period?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *