Reclaiming the Blade

Synopsis: The Medieval and Renaissance blade, a profound and beautiful object handcrafted by master artisans of old. An object of great complexity, yet one with a singular use in mind- it is designed to kill. The truth of the sword has been shrouded in antiquity, and the Renaissance martial arts that brought it to being are long forgotten. The ancient practitioners lent us all they knew through their manuscripts. As gunslingers of the Renaissance they were western heroes with swords, and they lived and died by them. Yet today their history remains cloaked under a shadow of legend.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Daniel McNicoll
Production: Galatia Films
 
IMDB:
8.2
NOT RATED
Year:
2009
90 min
Website
7 Views

When men were to

take up arms,

the predominant object

was the sword.

'Cause when I have done

sword fights in movies,

I've always thought about:

What are they for?

Often these things were

right at the point of history.

They're such a part

of our cultural heritage.

The Medieval

and Renaissance blade,

a profound

and beautiful object

handcrafted by

master artisans of old.

It is designed to kill.

The truth of the sword

has been shrouded in antiquity

and the Renaissance martial arts

that brought it into being

are long forgotten.

The ancient practitioners

lent us all that they knew

through their manuscripts.

As gunslingers

of the Renaissance

they were the western heroes

with swords.

They lived and died by them.

Yet today, their history

remains cloaked

under a shadow of legend.

Before the invention

of gunpowder,

the sword was

the weapon of the time.

The sword probably has not

been a relevant weapon

for at least 200 years.

To think that a pummel,

a handgrip, a crossbar, a blade,

a very simple object

could hold such sway

over thousands of years

of human evolution.

These objects have really

controlled our history

and where we are today.

Swords have been used

throughout history

to defend people and land,

to build nations

and to protect kingdoms

from tyranny.

From 1st century wars

against Rome

to the Viking

and Norman conquests,

sword and steel have

changed the fate of kingdoms,

the map of Europe and ultimately

the timeline of world history.

Their essential role

in preserving freedom and honor

goes back far into

the dim mists of history.

The connection between

sword and freedom

may perhaps find its

origin within the customs

of the Germanic

and Celtic tribes.

Here, being armed with a sword

was not only a right

but also a duty

of all free men.

In fact, the ceremony

for giving freedom to a slave

required that

the former slave

be presented with

the armament of a free man.

Many British kings chose to

trust their subjects with arms

and to supplement the militia

in times of need

rather than abolish it.

The idea of a free militia

versus a financed army

presents an interesting concept

that is reflected

in many of our modern films.

The sword is as relevant today

as a symbol

as it was in ages past,

being found within statues,

civic emblems, and insignia

both ancient and modern.

It has been an ancient symbol

for words spoken in truth,

for purity, justice

and the spirit of God.

The iconic power of the sword

is everywhere within our culture

from literature to

popular entertainment and

nowhere is it more celebrated

than in the modern cinema.

There's a definite symbolism

that's part and parcel

of every story

containing a sword.

The sword combines

power, authority,

and the threat of impending

violence all in a prop,

which might be hanging

off somebody's side

until the moment

they draw it.

I think there's something

more intimate about

2 guys going at it

with swords.

To fight someone with a sword

as opposed to shooting someone

with a gun, I think

it takes more courage.

It's conflict at its most raw

where you've got 2 characters

looking at each other eye to eye

engaging at that level.

And the stakes are higher

it could go either way.

You are right there in the end

and the sword, in many ways,

is an extension

of that character's arm

so it's really

a sharpened fist.

It suddenly is a realm

of myth, of legend,

of heroes, of adventures.

That would explain to a large

degree the popularity of swords.

They're, you know,

an integral part of it.

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