“Valhalla Rising begins on a desolate coast where the heads of warring clans meet in battle. For years, the most fearsome and successful fighter has been an enigmatic figure known only as One Eye (played by the inestimable Mads Mikkelsen, star of the first two Pusher films, as well as Casino Royale and Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, also playing at the Festival).
Silent and lethal, One Eye has defeated everyone he’s encountered, but he’s treated more like an animal than a warrior. The only person he has any relationship with is the young boy who brings him food and water daily. Constantly caged and shackled, One Eye has drawn the attention of a new force now sweeping the countryside and displacing the society’s leaders: Christians.
Determined to claim territory for his faith, the leader of a band of Christians sets sail on an ill-fated odyssey to the Holy Land with One Eye and the young boy in tow. Referencing masters like Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone with a touch of Andrei Tarkovsky thrown in for good measure, Valhalla Rising shows how carnage, once invoked, has no fealty but to itself. Little separates the Christians from their pagan predecessors – they’re just as bellicose and bloodthirsty.”
So may argue, but I really think the world is getting better. Our uninhibited ancestors were nasty savages. The myth of a lost Golden Age of peace is just a fallacious creation. Peace isn’t in the past, but ahead of us. We’re no angels yet: our wars may have a larger scale than before, but there is less savagery and there is a world consensus that favor peace. Maybe one day, we’ll get rid of that violence, I’m a bit afraid though that lawyers would then rule the world…