Viking

Leftists Have Been Throwing a Fit Over This One…

Director Robert Eggers is known for his obsessive attention to detail and historical authenticity, so his new Viking movie ‘The Northman’ was destined to be controversial. The film in itself is less concerning to liberal quibblers than the assumption that a historically accurate depiction of medieval Europe is bound to create white supremacists from its viewers. The film has been lavishly praised by most critics, but some have felt compelled to speculate about the racism it could inspire.

No forced diversity here

Articles have been cropping up to comment on how much the film must appeal to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, which means that the movie must be a failure.

All of this says much more about the state of modern Hollywood than it does about ‘The Northman’ but it is true that the film has a great deal of masculinity and a distinct lack of diversity.

As with all of his movies, Eggers set out to create characters in ‘The Northman’ that think and behave like the people who lived through the scenarios being depicted on screen rather than projecting modern agendas back on historical settings.

This means that the characters in his Viking film look and act like Vikings to a degree that has rarely, if ever, been matched in fiction.

This is what can make the movie very appealing for conservative audiences and simultaneously very distressing for liberals who have been working to “reclaim” Norse mythology and culture from racists.

Instead of being progressive and tolerant freedom fighters, these Vikings are savage raiders who inhabit a culture that is alien and sometimes repulsive for modern audiences.

Leftists struggle with accurate Viking depictions

Eggers and Alexander Skarsgård, who stars in the film, wanted to present an honest depiction of Vikings as they were, without any moralizing commentary or 21st century politics infecting the setting.

Many liberals have latched on to Vikings as a historical alternative to the supposedly stuffy and backwards medieval Christians who are almost invariably depicted by Hollywood as being consumed by superstition and oppression.

‘The Northman’ is a painstaking effort to portray the Vikings on their own terms, without judgment or glorification and without inserting people and ideas that don’t belong in the setting.

This, according to some reviewers, by default makes it a film that will appeal to racists with a distorted view of history and a misguided love for Norse culture.

The problem with these concerns is that it is the revisionist view that is distorted and misguided. Vikings were Scandinavian pagans who lived in patriarchal and often brutal society that exploited weaker peoples.

Viewers with a rosy view of a progressive Viking culture will think that ‘The Northman’ interrupts their efforts to “reclaim” Vikings from racists, but Robert Eggers has created a film that is perhaps much more nuanced than either liberals or pagans would like.

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