RECLAIMING THE BLADE

By Daniel MCNICOLL

VISION FILMS - as SALES All rights, World

Documentary - Completed 2009

Reclaiming the Blade, featuring Viggo Mortensen, Karl Urban and John Rhys-Davies, documents the culture and craft of swords and the Hollywood legends and academic warriors who wield them. A detailed look at the sword and the significant role it played in both history and filmmaking.

    • Year of production
    • 2009
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • USA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Director(s)
    • Daniel MCNICOLL
    • Writer(s)
    • Daniel MCNICOLL
    • Producer(s)
    • Erica BLACK
    • Synopsis
    • Reclaiming the Blade, featuring Viggo Mortensen, Karl Urban and John Rhys-Davies, delivers unique insights into both historical combat and theatrical swordplay. The truth of the sword has been shrouded in antiquity, and the Renaissance martial arts that brought it to being are long forgotten. Featuring interviews from Hollywood fight choreographers and world-renowned historians, Reclaiming the Blade not only sheds light on the ancient legend of the sword, but includes clips showcasing some of the most memorable cinematic sword fights ever filmed.
      The sword reigned supreme as the weapon of choice for thousands of years, yet upon the advent of gunpowder it was eventually supplanted by more efficient weapons. Nevertheless, the sword has lived on in part as a great symbol, shining brightly in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies. Reclaiming The Blade rediscovers the original history of this ancient weapon. Narrated by acclaimed Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies, this feature documentary traces the sword’s true history throughout the ages. The film brings to life our fascination with swords in popular media and the emergence of a worldwide movement to reclaim the ancient art of medieval and renaissance martial arts.
      Reclaiming The Blade was initially born out of writer/director Daniel McNicoll’s research on historical warfare for the script, Glastonbury: Isle of Light. His personal interest in the sword and devotion to research helped get the project off the ground. Producer and director of photography Erica Black recalls, “Daniel's enthusiasm and creativity are contagious and I could sense this was a story that needed to be told. Up to this point, Historical European Martial Arts have been over-shadowed by the more culturally popular Asian Martial Arts. While both East and West have much to offer in this field, I felt that Western Martial Arts were largely an untold story.”
      Rhys-Davies shared in McNicoll's affinity for the blade and has a deep appreciation for the project: “The sword resonates in our unconscious. Think of the words we use to describe it: a trusty sword, a true blade. The figure of Justice carries a scale in one hand, a sword in the other.”
      Production started in October of 2005. Principal photography continued over the next year and a half. “Initially we thought the story was going to be much more specific, covering only a few characters," recounts Black "but along the way, the film gained a greater scope with the sword really becoming the central character of the story.
      The filmmakers traveled the globe to talk with historians, archaeologists, research scientists and renaissance martial artists from Europe, America and Asia. Galatia Films sat down with Hollywood actors, the swordmasters who train them, and those who produce the swords for the blockbusters they star in. The result has carved out a new path for documentary filmmaking. Through the combination of historical research and good old-fashioned Hollywood swashbuckling, Galatia Films have created an in-depth and entertaining exploration of a long-neglected aspect of history.
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