Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Knights Templar|
Director: James Wignall
Studio: Bfs Ent & Multimedia Limi Release Date: 01/08/2002 Run time: 104 minutes
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Barry Wiley | Sunnyvale, CA United States | 08/27/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"A dull and uninformative effort with low production values, utilizing two talking heads with the same limited graphics and music in mind numbing repetition for two hours! A poorly written documentary that jerks without explanation from one period to another, shows buildings without explanation of what they are and where, and even abruptly introduces Salidin without explanation of who he was and where he came from. The Knights Templar story is a fascinating one which has lead to some fevered speculations about their secrets, treasures, and religious icons, including the Holy Grail. So excess regarding the Templars has usually been the problem -- but this thing has suceeded in reducing the story to something that would bore a ten year old. Not worth buying at any price."
The Knights Templar
nelsonjg | Miami Lakes, Florida United States | 09/15/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I found the documentary a bit repetitive with its scences. It looks to have been made with a very low budget. So much more could have been said about the history of a very influencial order that changed many of the rules of warfare and even trade during the 13th and 14th Century and have given rise to a lot of speculation as to their connection with Masons, Rosicrucians and other secret organizations. The two "experts" did a credible job in their explanations and the photography, particularly that in the deserts was very good but as far as historical information, it left a lot out."
Interesting Two Hour Historical Documentary.
Marc Comfort | Niigata City; Niigata-ken; Japan | 03/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a four part TV documentary from 2000 totaling 120 minutes, and is stereophonic, but unfortunately does not contain sub-titles/closed captions. Prof. Malcolm Barber who is the world's leading expert on the Templar's explains the history of this group of medieval knights who were renowned for protecting Christain Holy Sites in the Palestine area of the Middle East. The historical aspects are very well done with some mini recreations of the knights life-styles, but the mythological aspects of the knights alleged posession of the Holy Grail and other items pertaining to Christ and his family, seem to me to be glossed over. Overall this is a good introduction to the Knights Templar which should be followed up by reading the series of books by Micheal Baigent & Richard Leigh."
Historical reference, but visually challenged
medievalcrusadesbabe | Ohio USA | 11/16/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The material is based on the researches of Professor Malcolm Barber of the University of Reading in England, who appears in this production discussing the history presented. It is augmented with material by Dr. David Nicolle of the University of Nottingham in England as well. Both men are noted Medieval Historians and authors, Prof. Barber being a noted historian on the Crusades, and Dr. Nicolle being very well versed on medieval history, castles and warfare.
The production is in four parts, covering Origins, Corporation, Frontier and Legend. Origins cover how the Templars came about. They do not mention Hugh de Payne or the original group who are credited with the founding of the Templars, but does pick up from the time of the First Crusades, and does cover the circumstances of why a military order was needed, and how the Order was finally acknowledged and accepted.
Corporation is much more interesting, showing how much of an important part the Templars played in the construction of the financial basis for that time period in history. The foundation of the Templar finances is examined and clearly laid out. This is necessary in order to understand what finally happens to them.
Frontier lays the basis for the fall of the Holy Land and the effects it had on the Templars. Reinforced and secure, they lose their ground to the Mamluks. The power struggle plays out, the Holy Land is finally lost to the Crusaders, and the Templars move back into Europe to find they are financially secure, but have no reason now for existence.
The final installment, Legend, examines the fall of the Templars. Their financial holdings appealed to a failing monarchy, they become the target for the financially strapped French King, and are arrested, tortured, tried and burned.
Throughout the documentaries, Prof. Barber and Dr. Nicolle, as well as a few other specialists, add their viewpoints and their expertise to the topic and make some sense out of what could be confusing and lacking in details. The material is augmented by the commentaries and is very much like a college class study than a read through a high school text book. A big plus in my view.
The examination of the legends and stories about the Templars is also a big plus, as it puts into perspective some of the myths that started almost as soon as the last Templars were put to death. A very good addition to the work.
While the history seems skimmed over, it appears the timing is probably the reason why. Each episode is approximately 30 minutes long, so there really isn't all that much time to get into details.
As far as the history, the material is well researched, well presented and the whole of the production is very interesting and the time allowed for the production covers the material well enough.
One thing I did find annoying was the production itself. There is much repetition in the visuals. The same knights keep trotting across the screen to fill in the visuals while the narrator Art Malaik covers some details. I gave it three stars because of this. We watch videos for the visual content, which is lacking here.
This would fit well as a four part series to augment any medieval history class, as they are roughly thirty minute episodes. And the expertise of Prof. Barber and Dr. Nicolle make this a very good all around picture of the Crusades as well. So, if you are looking for some good historical background material for the Crusades and the Knights Templar, this is a good production well worth the time to explore. medievalcrusadesbabe"