Day By Day

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lost Legion Films Marketed as Iraq War Screeds

Two films are being made about a Roman legion slaughtered by the Picts. Both are supposed to be allegories for the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

The Eagle of the Ninth is being adapted for a Hollywood film, one of two productions examining the failure of the Roman army to crush the Picts in Scotland in the second century AD.

Both are intended as allegories of recent American experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kevin Macdonald, the director of The Last King of Scotland and State of Play, is directing the adaptation of Rosemary Sutcliffe's 1954 novel The Eagle of the Ninth.

It tells of a disillusioned young Roman soldier who travels to Scotland to find out what happened to his father who fought there.

The Romans will be made to resemble American GIs in the film in a clear attempt to draw parallels between past and present, said Macdonald.

"In a way it is an Iraq or Afghanistan war film taking place in the second century," he told The Times.

The second film to explore the same theme is Centurion, directed by Neil Marshall, who helped make the horror movie Dog Soldiers. It will look at the Roman army's apparent defeat directly, rather than through the lens of the next generation.

Read about it here.

Jeez, these lefty film guys never give up do they? Iraq and Afghanistan just have to be portrayed as imperial hubris and nemesis. I think I'll be giving these screeds a pass, even though the "Dog Soldiers" credentials are impressive.