The 13th Warrior

Based on a novel called Eaters of the Dead this film chronicles, in retrospect, the exploits of a warrior-band of Rus Vikings and their reluctant Arab cohort who are sent to subdue a fearsome race of man-monsters who dwell in caves on foreboding cliffs and venture down to kidnap make war and kidnap Viking women and children.

Aside from the 'name' actors, this film includes an impressive cast of European and Euro-American talent; Dennis Storhoi, Vladimir Kulich, Clive Russell and John De Santis.

The Arab, played by Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, is initially sent by his father to the chieftain of one of the Rus tribes on an errand, (his monologue mentions "journeying through the land of the Khazars" on the way!).

After his arrival however, the emissary is advised by a tribal oracle that he must accompany the Viking's war-leader son, Buliwyf (Kulich) and his 11 comrades on a most dangerous mission to aid another Rus tribe whose men have been decimated in continuous warfare with the cave-dwellers. (This comes by default to the Arab, as the oracle warns that the '13th warrior' cannot be a Norseman, and must be a "foreigner".)

The adventure begins in earnest and the 'getting acquainted' is characterized by observant suspicion, the Arab learning to speak in the Norse tongue by listening to the men talking and laughing around the nightly campfire, and continuing to record everything in writing. (The Viking elders in the village had previously communicated with the emissary in Latin through a Norse translator.)

Although conflict and dissension does occur, the men of both races gradually come to respect each other's sense of honour and martial capabilities. A pleasant and unexpected feature of the film is the rather obvious first regard that the Northmen and the Arab each hold for their own backgrounds and people. (This is especially refreshing when considering that the film was released by Touchstone Pictures, which is headed by the Zionist Sumner Redstone (actual name Murray Rothbein) and owned by the Disney Corporation of Zionist Michael Eisner.)

The only weak point, beside an obvious but discreetly scripted and filmed fondness which develop between the Arab and one of the young village women, herein and throughout is the chronic 'sour' expression on the face of the old king's noticeably younger wife, played by American actress Diane Venora, who looked as though she was perturbed at having been cast in a non-feminist role. Otherwise the film remained as life and proper order should be; the men were men and the women were women!

The film has several heroic battles which, amazingly for Hollywood, showcased the outstanding martial qualities of the Norse Warrior, especially war-leader Buliwyf, the band learned that the cliff-monsters were in reality fur- and claw-clad men, and that these unworthies congregated around a semi-demonic 'goddess/queen' whose lair existed in the deepest recesses of the rock cliffs.

The final scene saw the Arab been seen off on his return trip, by longboat, to his homeland by Ragnar (Storhoi). Each waves in respectful farewell, bidding in turn, "Good-bye Arab". "Good-bye Northman".

Thoroughly trashed by American critics, not at all surprisingly considering that it does much to portray an ancestral European group in a fair light, this inspiring film was hustled out of cinemas in the US after a few short weeks.

Maybe if Comrades 'spread the word' before-hand about this well-produced, positive film, which utilizes an ancient European base and gives quite an accurate, and very inspiring, portrayal of an ancestral European people, it will have a more successful and beneficial showing throughout Europe.

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