Sunday, November 29, 2015

Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story (2004)

Director: Tilman Remme

Writers: Georgann Kane, steven Manuel, Chris Ould

Composer: Ilan Eshkeri

Starring: Robert Shannon, Derek Lea, Jamel Aroui, Lotfi Dziri, Hichem Rostom, Dorra Zarrouk, Ross Kemp, Michael Pennington

More info: IMDb

Plot: Verus, a slave captured in the Balkans, sees a gladiatorial career in the arena as a preferable alternative to life in a rock quarry.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

This fascinating documentary/drama tells the true account of a slave, Verus, who became a gladiator and fought in the opening games of the newly built Colosseum in 18 C.E.. Like the POMPEII: THE LAST DAYS (2003) film that accompanies it on the BBC DVD, I learned a lot from this, more than I already knew about this period and of the lives of gladiators (I really should pick up a book sometimes).  Because of the nature of the subject, there's a lot of action and some violence so the fun factor is way up before it gets going.   It's a lot of fun and I highly recommend taking 45 minutes out of your day to watch it (free on YouTube above).  The DVD offers a nice anamorphic widescreen print and you get more extras for this one than you do the POMPEII film with close to a half hour of interviews with many folks involved with the many aspects of making the picture as well as 5 trailers for other BBC documentaries. 

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