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Ed Zwick Thrown To The Lions
Director adapting bestseller The Lions of Al-Rassan

20 January 2005  |  Written by   

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You know, there's little Empire likes better on a quiet evening at home than to read about the history of the Spanish Reconquista. As everyone knows, this was the long reconquest of Spain by the Christians after the Moorish invasion of 711AD, culminating with the expulsion of the Moors from Granada in January 1492AD. So we're looking forward to Ed Zwick's next offering, The Lions of Al-Rassan.

Based on a bestseller by Guy Gavriel Kay, the story follows a Christian soldier, a (female) Jewish doctor and a Muslim poet and warrior while the Reconquista rages around them (the author doesn't call them Christian, Jewish and Muslim, but trust us – that's what he's getting at). The story is set in the fictional city of Al-Rassan, and contains magical elements mixed in with the quasi-history, and of course valuable parallels about tolerance and getting along for our own troubled times.

With Kingdom of Heaven coming out later this year, the Middle Ages are clearly the new ancient Greece (Private Eye alert!). With Zwick on good form in last year's The Last Samurai, this could be the best Reconquista movie since Charlton Heston picked up a sword and rode into Toledo in El Cid. Probably because it's, like, the first Reconquista movie since El Cid, but never mind. The further adventures of figures like Boabdil and Juana la Beltraneja (look 'em up) cannot be far behind.

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