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  Cradle - Gniazdo DVD [dv448]
by Richard J. Brzostek Date Added: Monday 26 January, 2009
The Cradle (Gniazdo) is movie about Mieszko I, the first historic ruler of Poland. Because there are a lot of details to take in, I would say The Cradle is a film in which one has to pay attention to the fine points in order to understand everything that is going on (or watch it more than once). Although the various groups might look similar, taking note of the helmets may help distinguish them. The story has a few layers to it with flashbacks to earlier times that fill us in on the events that precede the present.

The film begins just before the decisive Battle of Cedyna in 972. In a feavored state, Mieszko is tormented by guilt in not keeping his word to his father. His father wanted Mieszko's brother to rule and aviod contact with the West, thinking it was safer to keep secluded. Ignoring his father's wish, Mieszko expanded his land to the shore from the Oder to the Wisla once he became ruler. A witch advises Mieszko to convice his father's spirit of his intentions in order to win the battle.

As Mieszko reflects on his life, we see fashbacks of his past which help us understand him and how he got to the point he is now. This includes the events that led up to Mieszko's baptizm in 966, which Christianized his land. His motivation to convert may not have been spiritual but political as many of his neighbors were Christian.

Although I wouldn't consider The Cradle an epic, Mieszko's life is colorful enough to easly make one recounting it. Films such as this one are great because they allow one to get familiar with history even though some of the details may not be quite right. I would recommend The Cradle for those who enjoy history.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars! [4 of 5 Stars!]
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