Pilgrimage

I’m a fan of B movies. Just because Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t feel great about something doesn’t mean I won’t try it. I especially like period pieces like Macbeth.

Pilgrimage showed up in my Netflix suggestions and I gave it a try.

Very well done!

I can accept why it wouldn’t do well in theaters and never become a blockbuster. The storyline doesn’t drive it that direction, and for good reason. It’s effectively a foreign film with subtitles. And I think that’s why I liked it so much.

Premise: Set in Ireland (Connemara, which is beautiful) around 1205 during the reign of King John, a group of monks are charged with transporting a powerful relic to Rome to aid in a future crusade.

That’s it. That simple. Point A to Point B. How hard could it be?

Very hard.

The scenery is breathtaking and made me want to go back to Ireland (we visited in 2010). The cast portray the reality of the time. Lots of ethnic tension and a true melting pot of cultures. The monks speak Gaelic, Latin, and must converse with the newly settled Normans who still speak French. The local populace still practice many traditional beliefs and we see the church at odds with them. Violence is common and the world is a dangerous place.

The cast were excellent and on point. Many familiar faces that add credibility to their roles.

I appreciated something said in the commentaries (nerdily I watched them all….) The movie shows almost every angle one could have on religion. Zeolots, agnostics, atheists, and those trying to follow the narrow path of the Way. Clearly tension abounds, but I thought it was well done.

If you liked Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood, and could make it through the first Ironclad, I recommend giving this a shot. It’s an excellent portrayal of the time and gave me many insights for The Way and the Darkness series.

Image credit: Wikipedia & RLJ Pictures

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