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The Old Fairy Tale - Stara Basn DVD
by Richard Brzostek Date Added: Friday 04 April, 2008
The Old Fairy Tale: When the Sun Was God (Stara Basn: Kiedy Slonce Bylo Bogiem) may not be the best title as far as telling us what the movie is about other than it will have a pagan element. Jerzy Hoffman, who brought us the trilogy from the 17th century, presents us with one of Poland\'s oldest legends on film -- the story of Popiel. This a story from Poland\'s prehistory pagan time; a story that has been told and re-told, and Hoffman does a fantastic retelling of the story on film.

The story could be summarized by saying Popiel is an evil and oppressive ruler that uses force unjustly on neighboring people. The people unit and make an effort to overthrow him. Of course, there is a love story in there too with titillating magical spells to help that effort along.

The movie is well done -- from the eerie music to the fierce battles. There are also rituals and pagan dances that left me in awe thinking this was how Poland was like back then. We also see the Vikings, who battle the pre-history Poles. Oddly, some of the Vikings carry Draco standards resembling the type Sarmatian horsemen carried some 500 years earlier while in Roman service. The battle scenes are comparable in realistic special effects and sheer brutality with other historical films such as Braveheart.

About half of the cast from Hoffman\'s Ogniem i Mieczem star in Stara Basn. Michal Zebrowski plays a lead role again and you are sure to recognize several other faces. Of those not in Ogniem i Mieczem is Malgorzata Foremniak, who plays Popiel\'s wife and is one of my favorite Polish actresses.

Stara Basn is an exceptional Polish film that has it all with action, battles, romance and interesting costumes. The movie also has its cultural aspect, as it is based on a classic Polish legend. If you enjoy historical movies you have to watch this one.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars! [4 of 5 Stars!]
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