Watch Richard III: The New Evidence
- 54 hr
Richard III: The New Evidence is a historical documentary film released in 2014. It explores the life of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England, whose reputation has suffered for centuries due to the Tudor propaganda that painted him as a villainous hunchback. The film is presented by actor Christopher Eccleston and features interviews with historians, archaeologists, and experts in medieval warfare and arms.
The movie begins by examining the events that led to the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, where Richard III was killed at the age of 32, and Henry Tudor became the new king of England. The filmmakers analyze the conflicting accounts of the battle written by Tudor chroniclers and try to separate fact from fiction. They also explore the political and military strategies of both sides and the role played by Richard III's loyal supporters, the Yorkist army.
The main focus of the movie, however, is the discovery and excavation of Richard III's remains in 2012, under a car park in Leicester. The documentary chronicles the work of the team of archaeologists led by Richard Buckley, who identified the skeleton as that of Richard III through DNA testing and other scientific methods. The film shows the excavation site and the examination of the bones, revealing new evidence about Richard III's appearance, health, and injuries.
One of the most surprising findings is that Richard III was not a hunchback, as depicted by Shakespeare and other Tudor propagandists. The filmmakers explain that Richard's spine was slightly curved but not deformed, and that he probably suffered from scoliosis, a common condition that would not have affected his physical abilities or stature. This discovery challenges the prevailing image of Richard III as a deformed and evil king, and invites a reassessment of his reign and character.
The movie also sheds light on Richard III's battle wounds, which indicate that he died from multiple blows to the head, probably caused by a sword, halberd, or other weapon. The forensic analysis of the bones reveals that Richard III suffered a severe injury to his skull, as well as other wounds to his face, arms, and legs. The experts speculate about the circumstances of Richard's death, and whether he fought bravely or was overwhelmed by the enemy.
In addition to the analysis of Richard III's physical remains, the film examines the artifacts found in and around the excavation site, such as pottery, coins, and a silver ring that may have belonged to Richard III or his followers. The filmmakers also visit other historical sites associated with Richard III, such as the Tower of London and Bosworth Field, and discuss the political and social context of his reign.
Throughout the movie, Christopher Eccleston provides narration and commentary, adding his own perspective on Richard III and his legacy. He quotes from Shakespeare's play and other sources, and reflects on the enduring fascination of Richard III as a historical figure and a cultural icon. Eccleston's performance is engaging and informative, and he manages to convey a sense of sympathy and respect for Richard III, despite his flaws and controversies.
The other experts and scholars interviewed in the movie offer a range of opinions and interpretations, but all share a passion for uncovering the truth about Richard III and his times. They explain the significance of the new evidence in the context of medieval history and culture, and highlight the challenges and rewards of historical research and excavation. The filmmakers also include footage of reenactors and experimental archaeologists demonstrating medieval weapons, armor, and tactics, bringing to life the battle scenes and the technology of the period.
Overall, Richard III: The New Evidence is a fascinating and well-made documentary that combines historical research, scientific investigation, and cinematic storytelling. It provides a fresh and nuanced look at a historical figure who has been shrouded in myth and legend for centuries, and invites viewers to rethink their assumptions about Richard III and his legacy. Whether you are a history buff or a general viewer, this movie is a must-see for anyone interested in the truth about one of England's most intriguing kings.