The Knight Arn is sent on a last mission against Saladin. He has to win this battle, before he can go home to Sweden, and finally marry his Cecilia and start a family. But the peace back home is threatened by the Danes.
A teenage boy expelled from school for fighting arrives at a boarding school where the systematic bullying of younger students is encouraged as a means to maintain discipline, and decides to fight back.
Swedish Public Service (SVT) withdrew support from the project only months before its release, citing lack of quality and unsatisfying amount of material as main reasons. The studio (SF) instead claimed the disagreement was due to budget concerns. Rival broadcaster TV4 stepped in as co-financier. See more »
Arn's trial by the archbishop is highly anachronistic in many ways. First, the church did not have any say in matters of marriage at the time the events are supposed to happen. Such were a completely private matter between the families involved until at least early renaissance. A daughter becoming pregnant outside of marriage would be the subject of her father's wrath rather than that of the church. Second, a bishop passing sentence like that would be a political matter which would not go without debate as to whether it was under the jurisdiction of the church at all. Being a noble, Arn would be the subject of judgment by peers. Third, the sentence in itself is absurd, as the knights templar were not in any way under the command of the church (nor was its members subject to mundane law). The organization was not aimed at harboring a condemned criminal, on the contrary, joining the order would require donations, arms, servants and the trust of its other members (and a solemn ceremony and vow). Fourth, the cloister where Cecilia is ushered to has a lot more in common with 20th century orphanages than with any medieval monastery. Sending a girl into a monastic order would be the decision of the family, not a sentence made by a bishop. Fifth, with most of the members of monastic orders being either people joining voluntarily out of a spiritual call or nobles sent there by their family for education, physical punishment would not be issued as depicted. See more »
I don't understand. For killing two men I am set free, but for loving I am punished?
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Reliable, intriguing medieval tale that unfortunately never peaks
Sweden in the 1100s is the backdrop for the troubled love story between nobleman boy-turned monk-turned-knight templar Arn and neighboring girl Cecilia- before he is sent off to Jerusalem in the crusades and she into a convent- plus the rivaling royal clan struggles for power in the nation. I haven't read the bestselling books which this is based on, and knowing this is a part-saga and soon TV-series to be, I can somewhat overlook the gaps in storytelling.
What I do enjoy is a sound, intriguing (especially the scheming between the church and royal clans) and reliable medieval tale - with heavy doses of romance, monastery/convent dramatics and a little touch of "Kingdom of heaven"-battling in the end - that unfortunately never quite peaks. As a cinephile Swede, I know the country's market a bit, and notice that the filmmakers are SO focused on keeping a safe, steady course not to fail with such a big production ship like this, that they end up with no real climactic cinematic highlights to speak of. Rougher camera-work and sets might've heightened things a bit?
For that reason it's very evenly paced, never boring and quite nicely produced. But with a major flaw: Arn remains very stiff and sketchy as an adult character. We never personally get to know him (he has SO few lines!) as to really understand why Cecilia loves him.
All in all, 6 out of 10 from Ozjeppe
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