DIRECTOR: Sergiu Nicolaescu


May Contain Spoilers!

Will we be adding this to our collection? NO

Dacii is a Romanian historical feature focusing on the Decian War of AD 87-88. Never heard of it? Well, with Hollywood focusing almost ALL its attention of the macroscopic reigns of the Caesars, with Caligula, Nero, Augustus, Marcus Aurelius and the man himself, Julius taking top billing, it’s no wonder that the exploits of the rest of the republic’s leaders have fallen out of the common consciousness.

Basically, if MGM didn’t do it, it wasn’t worth doing. But times are changing. More recently we’ve had two films focusing on the disappearance of the 9th Legion, The Eagle (2010) and Centurion (2010) and numerous television series focusing on more diverse elements but when it comes down to it, it’s all about Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. This film is in a poor state, but representative of so many European “epics”, most of which seem to fallen out of copyright and are also decaying rapidly.

uafglsnelvedbigSimply put, these movie are the brink of being lost forever as there’s little call for their restoration, which is costly. But Dacii is one which may benefit from such work and is quite well made. The epic scale of the battle scenes and pacing are good, with seemingly a cast of thousands building a tens of thousands strong Roman legions and the tone is a little more sophisticated than most Hollywood Roman productions of that era.

Violent, bloody and insightful into the Decian culture, this is a story which has not been told but one which will find it difficult to find an audience in 2013. The version which I have seen is poor but watchable, available through Amazon.com but if it was to be restored properly and maybe have an English dub attached, I know, that is a sacrilegious statement, it may be a strong entry from the Romanians into Roman film lore.

But as it is, it’s for hard-core fans only. I found it difficult to get into but saw the potential given a facelift.

N.B. A very happy birthday to my Dad, Ken, who is the fan of these films which I’ve been talking about!

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