WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS follows a magistrate of an unnamed empire who wrestles with his superior’s treatment of the native people in his designated outpost. The magistrate tells his superior, Colonel Joll, that the native people aren’t a big concern to the outpost because they migrate annually. However, Joll isn’t convinced. After the magistrate cares for an abused native girl and returns her to her people, Joll and his fellow officers turn on the magistrate, despite his assertions that their ways are malicious and without cause.
WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS has a great cast comprised of Johnny Depp, Mark Rylance and Robert Pattinson. Also, the images on screen are beautifully composed. However, the movie feels a bit slow getting to the bottom of the magistrate’s motivations. This hurts the movie’s overall quality. WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS has a strong moral worldview where the magistrate supports compassion, empathy and justice for the native people under his care. However, there’s a fair amount of violence with some blood. For these reasons and brief female nudity, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS.
(BB, C, L, VV, S, NN, A, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Dominant moral worldview where the protagonist has compassion for those who don’t have power, care for the hurt and boldly supports justice, plus there are some positive Christian elements such as washing others people’s feet and one mention of prayer
One “f” word and no profanities
Strong and light violence includes guns depicted but never used, soldiers literally string together prisoners through their cheeks with wire and blood is shown, characters including a small female child beat prisoners up with a large stick, man hung by his arms by a tree with rope, conversations about pain and torture, female’s whip marks shown on her back, soldiers blind a woman with a hot fork, but it’s not shown, soldiers murder defenseless prisoners while they’re in jail
Implied fornication between an unmarried couple, and two soldiers appear next to an overweight woman as if they’re going to sexually abuse her, but they are stopped
Upper female nudity when woman wears a see-through kimono, partial rear nudity when woman’s bare back is shown, and upper male nudity in a few scenes
Alcohol depicted during a meal
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
Brief gossip about a man’s personal life.
WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS follows a magistrate who wrestles with his superior’s treatment of the native people in his designated outpost of an unnamed empire. Based on the 2003 Nobel Prize-winning novel, WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS has a strong moral worldview promoting compassion and justice, but due to some violence and brief nudity, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for adults.
The movie begins during the summertime and zooms in on “The Colonel” who’s come to check in on the magistrate under his authority in the desert. Upon his arrival, Colonel Joll tells the magistrate that the best way to inspire getting the truth out of the native people is to illicit pain. As Colonel Joll settles into daily activities, the magistrate sees that the native people have been imprisoned and devoid of medical care. This troubles him for obvious reasons.
The magistrate finds a native woman who’s out on the street and tells her that to live in the town, she must have a job. However, the magistrate takes pity on her and invites her into his home where he learns she has a broken ankle with a nasty open sore. Out of the kindness of his heart, he washes her feet and takes care of her. Soon thereafter, the magistrate learns that, while she was in prison in his region, the soldiers blinded her with a hot fork and broke her feet. The magistrate is horrified by what he hears. So, he and the girl venture off into the desert to return her to her people.
When the magistrate returns to his outpost, he meets a new officer named Mandel, who puts him in jail for being overly kind to the native people and betraying the empire. Meanwhile, Colonel Joll and Officer Mandel don’t stop their pursuit of harming the native people.
Will there be justice for the native people who are just trying to survive?
WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS has a great cast. Mark Rylance serves as the perfect magistrate who extols compassion and empathy. On the flip side, Robert Pattinson and Johnny Depp perform their villain roles to the letter. The images on screen are beautifully composed and photographed. The colors are vivid and stunning scenic shots of the open horizon add to the story. However, the movie feels a bit slow getting to the bottom of the magistrate’s motivations, which makes the movie go down in quality altogether.
WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS has a strong moral worldview. It sympathizes with the jailed magistrate, who promotes compassion, empathy and justice for the native people under his care. However, there’s a fair amount of violence. Soldiers follow through on orders to hurt the native people physically, and some blood gets depicted in the process. There’s also an “f” word in the dialogue. For all these reasons and some brief female nudity, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for adults.
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