". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Revival: Ertuğrul

     . . . . Resurrection: Ertugrul (2014) 1st season.  Turkish television. Streaming from Netlix.

From Wiki:
Diriliş: Ertuğrul (English: The Revival: Ertuğrul) is a Turkish historical adventure television series created by Mehmet Bozdağ, starring Engin Altan Düzyatan in the title role. It is filmed in Riva, a village in Beykoz, intracity district of Istanbul, and premiered on TRT 1 in Turkey on December 10, 2014. The show is based on the history of the Oghuz Turks and takes place in the 13th century and centers around the life of Ertuğrul, the father of Osman I, the leader of the Ottoman Turks and the founder and namesake of the dynasty that established and ruled the Ottoman Empire. While only a small principality during Ertuğrul's lifetime, would prevail as a world empire under his son's dynasty for the next six centuries after his death.
Love it, and I’m only  3 1/2 episodes into the 30 episodes on offer.  A colorful, exciting historical medieval sword and intrigue adventure – conflicting Turkic tribes, intra-family betrayals, nasty villains, political treason, heroes, Mongols and Templars in the 13th century.

In an early scene Ertuğrul unsaddles this horse, while having an important conversation.  During the scene the horse kept looking at Ertuğrul, happy horse ears cocked toward his voice.  One got the sense that this horse liked the actor, or at least found the guy interesting enough to pay attention to him.  In the previous scene, Ertuğrul sits on the ground and talks to his himself -- or the horse -- attempting to puzzle out the dilemma into which he's plunged his clan by rescuing prisoners who have escaped from the clutches of the Big Bad, who is very powerful and has suzerainty over his people.
The collision of a variety of nomadic horse peoples, all of whom have been disrupted from traditional lands by the fire of the Mongol sweep across the northern steppes.

Their culture and way of life is shown in lovely detail -- yurts, many yurts! The details of the varieties of armor and weapons is terrific. This series has all the elements that make historical drama series my favorite viewing.  It's helping get through the current dearth of availability of such viewing for the moment, as I impatiently anticipate the second season of The Last Kingdom showing up next month streaming on Netflix.

Don't mess with Halim.
Happily, unlike some of the other very popular Turkish television series currently available on Netflix too, Resurrection also keeps the romance / plots to a realistic minimum. Historical / adventure fictions that center the plot on love and romance are most definitely not my cuppa tea.  Though, of course, it is important that Ertuğrul, the son of the Oghuz tribe, connect with Seljuk Halime, as she will be the mother of his son, who will be the forefather of the Ottoman Turks and their empire.

As with most current historical sword etc. fighting costume dramatizations these days, as we see in series out of India and so one, this one too has enthusiastically learned from the Japanese wuxia to shoot the action scenes.  This works out well for the production in countries like Turkey and Inida whose laws forbid graphic, detailed, lascivious scenes of violence, death and / or sex – another reason I enjoy these series.  People are not forever tearing off the clothes and throwing women against the wall to depict passion – even when there’s a perfectly good bed right next to them!  It’s beyond years since that tired, boring, uncreative trope for passion passed its sell-by date.

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