Questioning the Story:
Was King Arthur a real person?
“We don’t have any contemporary evidence for King Arthur as a historical figure,” says historian Chris Snyder of Marymount College. “He may have existed. He certainly existed in the minds of the Britons as a figurehead for their resistance against the Saxons.” The Germanic tribes known as the Saxons pressed into the island of Britain from the east, and according to medieval legend, a dynamic prince named Arthur led British forces against the Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD. -History.com
When did the legend of King Arthur first appear in history?
King Arthur first appeared in the writings of the Welsh cleric Nennius, who listed 12 battles that Arthur had supposedly fought in. They stemmed largely from Welsh poetry. In looking closer at the times and locations of the battles, it would have been impossible for one man to have fought in them all, and the general reliability of Nennius’ writings have recently been called into quesiton. Subsequent Welsh and Breton tales of King Arthur portrayed him as a heroic warrior who battled both human and supernatural enemies. Some of these details certainly call into question the legend of King Arthur as a true story. “Arthur is a myth for all times, a message for all times, but also and myth and a message particularly for the Britons in this dark period of their history,” says Michael Jones of Bates College. -History.com
Are The Mage and Guinevere the same person?
If you’re wondering if Astrid Bergès-Frisbey’s character The Mage is Guinevere or an entirely separate character, then you’re not alone. Plenty of others have asked that question too. The Mage essentially translates into “the magician.” The character is not a Merlin-esque version of Guinevere, but is rather an entirely separate character. “There are so many characters,” says director Guy Ritchie of the legend. “We hardly touch on Merlin, we don’t touch on Guinevere, we don’t really deal with the peripheral knights” (South China Morning Post). The lack of Guinevere in the movie is partly due to the fact that the film focuses on the time period prior to when Arthur becomes king (there are plans for five more films if Legend of the Sword does well). The Mage herself is an integral part of Arthur’s fight in the movie. She has the psychic ability to control animals and helps Arthur to realize his true power.
Astrid Bergès-Frisbey’s character The Mage is not Guinevere. In the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie, she is a separate ally of Arthur who can control animals with her mind.
Was Londinium a real city in Britain?
Yes. Londinium is a settlement that was established in Britain around 43 AD on part of the area that now makes up the City of London. At the time of King Arthur’s supposed existence in the late 5th century, the settlement had fallen into ruin and was largely uninhabited. This was in part due to raiding by Saxon invaders, who King Arthur led British forces against.
When did the modern telling of King Arthur first appear, including his magical sword Excalibur, wife Guinevere, and wizard Merlin?
King Arthur as we know him today is mainly drawn from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s pseudohistorical 12th-century book Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), in which he wrote the first life story of Arthur. Combining myth and fact in a tantalizing way, the Welsh cleric described Arthur’s magic sword Caliburn (later renamed Excalibur), Queen Guinevere, the wizard Merlin, and the loyal knight Lancelot. It is unknown how much of Manmouth’s book was invented by him and how much he drew from earlier folktales, which themselves have been debated with regard to historical significance. Many of these tales had been circulated orally for some 700 years, so if an actual Arthur did exist, there was a lot of time for his true story to become misconstrued and exaggerated. In 1155, Wace’s Norman language adaptation of Manmouth’s book included King Arthur’s court, the Knights of the Round Table. Wace did not take credit for creating the Round Table but rather attributed it to earlier Breton writings, a claim that has been debated.
Is the villainous King Vortigern, portrayed by Jude Law, based on a real person?
The existence of the evil King Vortigern is almost as equally contested as Arthur’s existence. In the movie, he kills Arthur’s parents to take the throne when Arthur is a small child. This is invention and is not part of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain, which is considered to contain the most well-known story of Vortigern. In earlier writings, Vortigern is mentioned as possibly being a 5th-century Briton warlord. However, as with Arthur, scholars have debated the details of those writings. It has even been suggested that Vortigern might be a title instead of a name, since in Brittonic Vortigern means “Great King” or “Overlord”. However, the latter part of the name includes the element *tigerno, which was a regularly occurring element in Brittonic personal names.
Like King Arthur, the real King Vortigern’s existence is disputed, and details about him are vague. Jude Law (pictured) portrays Vortigern as an evil tyrant in the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie.
Did castles really exist at the time when King Arthur supposedly lived?
No. Castles did not appear in Britain until some 500 years after King Arthur. He was a Briton, a Celtic who would have lived a much simpler, less-refined warrior lifestyle. As a Dark Age king, his appearance would have likely been more gruff. Unlike in the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie (and virtually every other King Arthur movie), no one would have had shiny armor because shiny armor didn’t exist in the 5th century AD. –King Arthur Documentary
So how much of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is based on a true story?
Likely very little. Given that early texts that mention Arthur have been called into question with regard to their historical accuracy, including Nennius’ Historia Brittonum, there will likely never be a way of knowing if King Arthur was a real person or a fictional hero whose reputation spread via folklore. Historians land on both sides of the debate. What is much clearer is that other elements of the story, like the wizard Merlin, Arthur’s sword Excalibur, wife Guinevere, and his Knights of the Round Table, are almost entirely fictional and appear together in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s c. 1136 AD chronicle The History of the Kings of Britain or its later adaptations. Monmouth’s fantastical work is not regarded as being a true story and historians give it no value as history. As for other exaggerated and fantasy-based elements of the movie, like the giant mammoths, squid-human hybrids, and the supernatural abilities of the characters, these details were included to give the film more of a Lord of the Rings feel.
So when you’re watching King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, enjoy the movie but take what you see with a grain of salt, and even that grain is probably mostly fiction.
King Arthur Documentary & Legend of the Sword Trailer
Watch a King Arthur documentary that explores the myth about the legendary British hero, including whether he was a real person, then view the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword trailer.
Source: Movies – Is There Any Truth to “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”?
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When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact. -Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Sr., Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story, 1918
Questioning the Story:
How much of The Promise is based on a true story?
The main characters and their storyline is fiction. This includes the love triangle between Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a Paris-raised Armenian; her American journalist boyfriend Chris Myers (Christian Bale); and the Armenian medical student, Mikael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac), who falls in love with her. The love story was created by screenwriters Terry George and Robin Swicord. However, much like Doctor Zhivago, the major political events going on around these characters are largely factual. This includes the rounding up of Christian Armenians, which started the Armenian Genocide in April 1915. Whole villages were subsequently wiped out, as Mikael learns was the fate of his own village in the movie.
The love triangle between Chris (Christian Bale), Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) and Mikael (Oscar Isaac) is entirely fictional, as are the characters.
What was the Armenian Genocide?
The Armenian Genocide refers to the rounding up and killing of approximately 1.5 million Christian Armenians between 1915 and 1922 by Muslims of the Ottoman Empire (and its successor state, the Republic of Turkey). Most who were killed were citizens of the Ottoman Empire. The genocide is also referred to as the Armenian Holocaust and predates the Jewish Holocaust by 20 years.
Does Turkey still deny that the Armenian Genocide took place?
Yes. During our investigation into The Promise true story, we learned that the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge it as a genocide, saying that it was simply a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims (the latter of whom were the overwhelming majority). Most Turks do not believe that the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turkish military was a genocide. In fact, many don’t acknowledge it at all, and others will only go as far as to call it a massacre. One reason it is not talked about in Turkey is because it is illegal to discuss the Armenian Genocide. With roughly 2 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire prior to the killings, it’s hard to deny that the extermination of 1.5 million of them was not a systematic attempt to wipe out an entire people. -History.com
Major newspapers at the time reported on the Armenian Genocide and the atrocities being committed by Muslim Turks against Christian Armenians.
How are there over 120,000 IMDB ratings for a movie not yet released?
The fraudulent IMDB ratings are part of a propaganda campaign by the Turkish government and Turkish people to discredit The Promise before its release, mainly in an effort to deter people from seeing it. Armenians have countered by giving the movie high IMDB ratings in order to encourage people to see it and in turn bring awareness to this largely unacknowledged blight on Turkey’s past.
At the time of this article (two days prior to the movie’s release), there are 123,112 IMDB ratings for The Promise. That’s more than for The Secret Life of Pets, one of the top grossing movies of 2016. Of the total votes, 61,416 are 1-star ratings and 59,966 are 10-star ratings. All of the ratings have so far happened prior to The Promise‘s release. The movie did screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2016, where there were only three showings. However, this opened the door to voting on IMDB, leading to the flood of fake ratings and the battle between Turkish deniers and Armenians.
Two days before the April 21, 2017 release, the fraudulent IMDB ratings for The Promise are evident. 49.9% of users, almost all of whom had not seen the movie, gave it a 1-star rating and 48.7% gave it a 10-star rating.
Why won’t IMDB step in and remove the fraudulent ratings?
The Promise‘s fake IMDB ratings are certainly a problem for IMDB, one that has led some to question the site’s credibility for other movies as well. One only has to look back a few months to the assault of negative ratings before the release of A Dog’s Purpose, which were sparked by allegations of animal abuse on the movie’s set (an allegation that the filmmakers have since been absolved of). That movie found 94% of voters having already given it a 1-star rating a week before its release. -TheWrap.com
So what’s the solution for IMDB? One thing they could do would be to step in and wipe The Promise‘s ratings clean until the movie’s release. That would at least prevent early fraudulent ratings and deter Armenian Genocide deniers from using the site as a propaganda tool. IMDB could also block Turks and Armenians from rating the movie altogether, which can easily be done by blocking the IP address ranges of the two countries. Without enough controversy and media attention calling them out, IMDB has instead chose to ignore the problem. One can only wonder how many people will steer clear of the film because they believe the false IMDB rating and in turn remain largely unaware of the Armenian Genocide. At this point, the filmmakers can only hope that public outrage grows enough to lift the rating and subdue the deniers.
Did Turkey try to stop The Promise from being made?
While Turkey has been successful in stopping other movies about the Armenian Genocide from being made, including MGM’s plans for Clark Gable to star in a 1930s film adaptation of Franz Werfel’s novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, The Promise fortunately found its way to the big screen. This is mainly because it was independently financed by businessman Kirk Kerkorian, the former owner of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who is of Armenian descent. In researching The Promise true story, we learned that Kerkorian passed away in 2015 just as production was beginning on the movie, which cost almost $100 million to make before tax breaks. It is one of the most expensive independently financed movies of all time. -Variety.com
As The Promise waited to close a distribution deal, producer Eric Esrailian grew worried that buyers were being scared away by the movie’s subject matter. “I’ll just say that there are some studios that have business interests in Turkey, and you can form your own opinion.” The Promise did eventually land a distributor in Open Road Films. However, the controversy is likely not over. Director Atom Egoyan, whose 2002 film Ararat featured a Hollywood director attempting to make a movie about the Armenian Genocide, felt the full weight of the denialist lobby. “It’s going to be a tough ride,” Egoyan says. In his case, Ararat‘s distributor Miramax and the studio’s then-owner, Disney, were targeted, with Miramax receiving so many email complaints that the studio’s website crashed. -Variety.com
Scratching away just an inch of sand starts to reveal the remains of some 450,000 Armenian Genocide victims whose bodies were buried in unmarked mass graves in the desert of Der Zor.
Why did the Turkish government want to wipe out the Armenians?
Ever since Armenia was absorbed by the Turkish Ottoman Empire in the 15th Century, the Christian Armenians suffered racial discrimination and poor treatment at the hands of the Muslim Turks, who considered them infidels. They also resented that the Armenians were better educated and more prosperous in commerce and trade. When the rebel group known as the Young Turks overthrew the Sultan in 1908, the Armenians finally thought their situation was going to improve. However, despite the Young Turks more modern idea of government and promises of racial justice, they treated the Armenians far worse. They saw Christian Armenians as a threat to their newly established order.
When Turkey entered World War I with Germany in 1914, Armenia, fed up with centuries of Turkish mistreatment, turned on them and aligned themselves with their Christian neighbor, Russia. This prompted Turkey to declare holy war on all Christians who weren’t allied with them, including Armenia. The Turkish government wanted Armenians removed from all war zones, an effort that foreshadowed the genocide that would soon follow. -ThePromisetoAct.org
Armenians being deported in real life in 1915 (top) and in The Promise movie (bottom).
Did the Armenian Genocide begin with the deportation and killing of intellectuals?
Yes. According to most Armenians, the genocide started when several hundred Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were rounded up and sent on a death march through the desert on April 24, 1915. They were given no water or food, which resulted in hundreds dying. In reality, deportations of Armenians really began two weeks earlier on April 8 in Zeytun, but the 24th is the date most often cited.
The start of the Armenian Genocide is considered to be the night of April 23-24th, when Armenian intellectuals were arrested and then deported and killed.
Are the atrocities committed against the Armenians in the film exaggerated?
No. The Promise true story reveals that during the seven years from 1915 to 1922, Christian Armenians suffered horrifically at the hands of Muslim Turks. Turkish killing squads were formed to slaughter Armenians, including burning them alive, throwing them off cliffs, drowning them, crucifying them, and ending their lives in other unthinkable ways. Many women were raped and mothers watched their infants dashed off rocks before their eyes. Some Armenians were used for medical experimentation, including being administered hazardous drugs or outright poisoned. The Turkish military division in charge of carrying out the atrocities was referred to as The Special Organization.
Approximately 25 concentration camps were set up, including labor camps like the one Mikael (Oscar Isaac) is imprisoned in until he escapes in the movie. Others who weren’t killed or sent to camps were deported from the region altogether. However, many never made it out, as they were either massacred on the way or succumbed to starvation and exhaustion. It was all part of Turkey’s plan to disguise extermination as deportation.
An Armenian woman in a field kneels beside her dead child with the help and safety of Aleppo, Syria in sight. With many succumbing to starvation and exhaustion, Turkey used deportation marches as a guise for extermination.
Did Turkey’s Minister of Interior, Talaat Pasha, admit to the genocide?
Yes. Talaat Pasha, one of the leaders of the Young Turks, is considered to be the main architect behind the Armenian Genocide. U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Sr. said that Talaat Pasha and other Turkish officials made no attempt to conceal the real purpose of the deportations. He includes several conversations he had with Talaat Pasha in his book Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story. In the book, Pasha is forthright with his intention for the deportations to be a guise for extermination. Abdulahad Nuri, an official under Pasha in charge of the deportations, would also later testify that Pasha told him that the goal of the deportations was “extermination.”
Did Talaat Pasha really demand a list of the dead Armenians who had American life insurance policies?
Yes. The shocking request is based in fact. According to Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Talaat demanded that he turn over the names of Armenians who had American life insurance policies so that the state could collect the payouts. Morgenthau categorically denied Talaat’s request, calling it “one of the most astonishing requests I have ever heard.” -Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story
Did Armenian refugees really escape down a mountainside to the coast like in the movie?
Yes. While exploring The Promise true story, we learned that this scenario is indeed based in historical fact. In the movie, Mikael (Oscar Isaac) and Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) link up with a large group of refugees who are forced to hold off the Turks as they escape down the side of a mountain to the coast. The French Navy has come to their aide with Chris (Christian Bale) in tow. In real life, some 4,000 Armenian civilians successfully fought off Ottoman Turkish forces for 53 days in 1915 after retreating to the highest town on Musa Dagh, a mountain in the Hatay province of Turkey near the Mediterranean Coast. Just as their ammo and food was almost gone, they escaped down the backside of the mountain and were rescued by the French Navy. The event inspired Franz Werfel to pen his novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh.
In the movie, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) and a large group of fellow Armenian refugees escape down the backside of a mountain with the help of the French Navy who arrives to rescue them.
Is it true that all the profits from the movie’s release are being donated to human rights organizations?
Yes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, all of the profits from The Promise‘s theatrical run are going to be donated to nonprofit organizations, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation and other humanitarian and human rights organizations.
Armenian Genocide Documentaries & Related Videos
Dig deeper into The Promise movie true story by watching the videos below, including modern-day Turks denying the Armenian Genocide on camera. Then watch The Promise movie trailer.
Turks Denying the Armenian Genocide on Camera
The Promise Movie Trailer
Source: Movies – The Promise: History vs. Hollywood
CNN, the most anti-Trump network on television, is censoring the #1 bestseller of the Trump presidency.
CNN apparently so fears author David Horowitz and his new book “Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America” — they have told his publisher they will “never” have him on!
That’s shocking because Horowitz is a celebrated author and thinker — and his “Big Agenda” book has been sitting at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for over 9 weeks!
It’s also #1 on Amazon, and everyone in Washington and around the country is talking about “Big Agenda”!
Obviously, what America thinks doesn’t matter to CNN — because it’s radioactive for liberals — with CNN joining a list of other left-leaning networks like CBS, NBC and ABC that have put Horowitz on “the list” of banned conservative books and authors.
Remember the days when the liberals decried conservatives for supposedly creating such lists — they even called it McCarthyism!
Now, when the liberals do it to one of the most important books of the Trump presidency, and to an author close to the president and his top aides — he is censored.
This prompts the question: Why do CNN and the big media fear David Horowitz and “Big Agenda”?
Here’s the one really big reason: “Big Agenda” is the first book to expose the media for operating as a political force, an adjunct of the Democratic Party, to stop President Trump.
In “Big Agenda” Horowitz names names and reveals their plot to destroy Trump.
Horowitz also was the first to share Trump’s “secret plan” to take back America and drain the swamp in Washington during his first 100 days.
In fact, Horowitz has detailed 21 major moves President Trump was going to take — and already 11 have come true!
Now, in “Big Agenda,” Horowitz says the White House will reveal a major offensive against the liberal establishment right after the first 100 days — which he calls “Phase Two.”
The Trump plan has 3 major phases, Horowitz says.
You might be shocked about Phase Two. It includes a major war Trump will actually begin, one that will decimate a certain group and demonstrate America’s resolve like no other.
You really need to get “Big Agenda” today!
“Big Agenda” has been hailed by leading conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Lou Dobbs, Mike Reagan, and others.
They say it’s the only book exposing the media and offering Trump’s real agenda with a plan for you to help our president!
Make sure you get your copy today!
Get “Big Agenda”
Horowitz says several major “big shoes” will soon be dropped by Trump that will send shockwaves through the establishment. It’s all in the book!
“No president since FDR and his famed ‘100 Days’ has the chance Donald Trump has,” Horowitz argues.
But he writes that the GOP and Trump must recognize that they are not just fighting policy ideas, but an ideology — a progressive one with a radical agenda to stop Trump in an effort to reduce America’s power and greatness.
Horowitz warns that former President Obama has created nothing less than a “government in exile” to thwart, obstruct and even destroy President Trump and his agenda! Horowitz was the first to warn about this!
Now even President Trump agrees with David Horowitz — Obama won’t go away!
That’s why we must do everything we can to help our president!
[The Amazon] still holds this potential… you can really get turned around. There’s this green blindness. You can just start spinning in circles, because the wilderness starts looking the same. -Author David Grann, CNN, 2017
Questioning the Story:
How old was the real Percy Fawcett when he set out on his final expedition?
When the real Percy Fawcett set out on his final expedition in 1925, he was 57 years old. Though Charlie Hunnam’s character has a grown son in the movie, the film’s Fawcett appears to be a little younger, despite the makeup used to age Hunnam’s face. As seen in the image below, the physical differences between Fawcett and his onscreen counterpart are apparent as well, with the real Fawcett possessing thinner, less muscular features. In researching The Lost City of Z true story, we learned that actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who more closely resembles Fawcett, was originally supposed to star in the film but dropped out due to scheduling issues.
The real explorer Percy Fawcett (left) pictured in 1911, the year of his fourth significant Amazon expedition. He doesn’t closely resemble his onscreen counterpart, actor Charlie Hunnam (right).
How did Percy Fawcett meet his wife Nina?
In fact-checking The Lost City of Z movie, we learned that Percy Fawcett first encountered Nina Agnes Paterson while he was serving as a captain in the Royal Artillery, the artillery branch of the British Army. The pair met when he was stationed in the British Colony of Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) where Nina was born. -Telegraph.co.uk
In what year did Percy Fawcett marry Nina Paterson?
On January 31, 1901, Percy Fawcett married Nina Agnes Paterson after having previously called off their engagement for several years (apparently Fawcett’s mother didn’t like Nina and told Fawcett a lie that she wasn’t a virgin so he would call things off). In the following years after they married, Nina gave birth to their two children. Their son Jack was born in 1903 and his brother Brian in 1906, the year Percy first began his expeditions into the Amazon. It was Jack who would accompany his father years later on their ill-fated 1925 mission to find the lost city Percy had named “Z”.
Percy met Nina Agnes Paterson when he was stationed in the British Colony of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). They married in 1901 after Percy had previously called off the engagement. Photo: Copyright R. de Montet-Guerin
Did the real Percy Fawcett go on just three expeditions?
No. The Lost City of Z true story reveals that in an effort to condense Fawcett’s life into 2 hours and 21 minutes, his eight expeditions became three in the movie, each with their own sense of importance. -CNN.com
How big is the Amazon Jungle?
The wilderness of the Amazon is approximately the size of the contiguous United States. It is often so dense and impenetrable, Percy Fawcett and his team would usually only advance half a mile per day. -David Grann, Boston MOS
Had Percy Fawcett really been a member of the British Secret Service?
Yes, but he was more like Indiana Jones than James Bond, and comparing him to the former is even certainly a stretch. However, it has been said that his macho adventures were at least part of the inspiration for the Harrison Ford character. In the early 1900s, Fawcett was recruited to work for the British Secret Service as a spy in North Africa. It was common for the British Secret Service to recruit members of the Royal Geographic Society, since their roles as map makers/explorers often provided the perfect cover. He served for the war office on Spike Island, County Cork, Ireland from 1903 to 1906, and it was around that time that Fawcett became friends with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famed author of Sherlock Holmes. The author would later use some of Fawcett’s Amazonian field reports as research to inspire his novel The Lost World, which focuses on an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin where prehistoric animals, including dinosaurs, still exist.
Percy Fawcett (left) is reported to have inspired George Lucas when creating the Indiana Jones character.
What made explorer Percy Fawcett believe that an ancient city existed deep in the jungle?
Like his father, Percy was part of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), having joined to study surveying and cartography (mapmaking). At age 39, his position with the RGS led him to Brazil to map the jungle region at the border of Bolivia and Brazil. Bolivia had just sold its rubber-rich province in that area to Brazil, and the RGS had been hired as an independent third party, free of local political sway. Fawcett would go on six more expeditions between 1906 and 1924, some with similar purposes as his first mission, including mapping the source of rivers, etc. -CNN
Starting in 1906, he had also begun to believe in the existence of an ancient city he referred to as “Z”, which was reminiscent of El Dorado, the elusive jungle city of gold. By 1914, he had established detailed ideas about the lost city of Z and its possible whereabouts in the Mato Grosso (“thick bushes”) region of Brazil. He in part based its existence on signs he noticed in topography and centuries-old pottery shards he had discovered in earthen mounds in the flood plain. He also thought he saw straight lines that appeared to be roads. During his time away serving in World War I, he began to view Z as more of an undiscovered utopia that stood in contrast to the war. –Author David Grann Presentation at Boston MOS
Did Fawcett’s ancient city of Z threaten to shake up the understanding of the world?
Yes, and it was partly for that reason that many of his peers mocked and ridiculed him. The discovery of an ancient city in South America could alter the West’s perception of the Old World and shake up Europe’s civilizing mission; thus proving that a flourishing empire can exist without Western intervention or colonization.
Experts had also believed that Indians could not survive in large populations in the Amazon. They concluded that due to floods and pounding rainfall, the soil would be leached of its nutrients, leaving it unsuitable for crops. It was for this reason and others that archaeologists like Betty Meggers considered the region a “counterfeit paradise,” a notion that has since been largely overturned. In fact, Fawcett himself was astonished by how much food that groups he encountered had and how well they had adapted to conditions in the jungle. -David Grann, Boston MOS
Did Percy Fawcett find a document that provided evidence for the existence of an ancient city in Brazil?
Yes. The document is known as Manuscript 512 and is believed to have been written by Portuguese fortune hunter João da Silva Guimarães during or after 1753. The document is housed at the National Library of Rio de Janeiro. In it, da Silva Guimarães wrote that he discovered an ancient city in 1753. The ruins contained a statue, arches, and a temple with hieroglyphics. The site was described in extensive detail but no exact location was given. Fawcett considered it a secondary goal after finding Z.
While back in England, did Percy Fawcett really loudly defend the rights of Brazilian natives?
In the movie, Percy (Charlie Hunnam) proclaims to his fellow Englishmen that certain native Amazon tribes could be equal to the white man. This doesn’t go over well with the crowd he’s speaking to. The movie’s attempt at positioning Fawcett as a champion for equal rights seems to be a bit of an exaggeration. While he was friendly and respectful to natives he encountered, the 1953 book created from his papers and journal, titled Exploration Fawcett, finds him being courteous but to some degree looking down on South Americans. -Spectator.co.uk
“Savages” photo (left) taken by explorer Percy Fawcett. Actor Charlie Hunnam as Fawcett (right) communicates with Amazonian tribesmen in The Lost City of Z movie. Photo courtesy of the Royal Geographical Society
Did the real Percy Fawcett seek advice from a psychic?
Yes. The Lost City of Z true story confirms that Fawcett had become a devoted follower of the charlatan psychic Madame Blavatsky (renamed Madame Kumel in the movie). -Spectator.co.uk
Did Fawcett write coded letters back home to his wife?
Yes. Fawcett’s time in the British Secret Service led him to become very secretive. In an effort to not give away his location or the possible whereabouts of Z to rival explorers, he encrypted the letters he sent back home to his wife Nina. She would then use a cipher to decode them. -David Grann, Boston MOS
Had Percy Fawcett’s father really besmirched the family name?
Yes. Fact-checking The Lost City of Z movie confirmed that Percy’s father, Edward Fawcett, was an India-born aristocrat who squandered two family fortunes as a result of his gambling and drinking. In the movie, this leads to Sir George Goldie (Ian McDiarmid) telling Percy, “You could reclaim your family name.” -Telegraph.co.uk
Did Percy Fawcett’s celebrity really grow with each expedition he went on in search of Z?
Yes. Like in The Lost City of Z movie, all eyes were on explorer Percy Fawcett, whose expeditions had earned him quite the reputation. When he set off in Corumba by the Bolivian border in February 1925 on what would be his final expedition in search of an ancient city he dubbed “Z”, millions of readers around the world waited for updates. The Los Angeles Times described his journey as “the most hazardous and certainly the most spectacular adventure of the kind ever undertaken.” Local runners took letters back from the route, but the letters stopped after Fawcett left Dead Horse Camp on May 29, 1925. Fawcett, his 22-year-old son Jack, and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimell (pictured below, not included in the movie) were never heard from again. -CNN.com
Raleigh Rimell, a friend of Percy Fawcett’s son Jack, was part of Fawcett’s doomed 1925 expedition. Rimell believed the trip would be an extended adventure before heading to Hollywood to try and become a movie star.
How many people went on Percy Fawcett’s final expedition?
Since mutiny was a huge problem for expeditions into the Amazon Jungle, Fawcett wanted people he could trust. His core group was made up of himself, his son Jack, and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimell. Jack and Raleigh both hoped to return home and become actors, a dream that the doomed expedition would keep from ever happening. Two guides also accompanied the group but turned back before they reached the denser jungle and hostile territory. –David Grann, Boston MOS
Were the bugs in the Amazon Jungle really as bad as what’s seen in the movie?
Yes. In many ways they were worse. In The Lost City of Z book on which the movie is based, author David Grann describes the debilitating nature of the bugs, which drove some of the explorers mad. They were ceaselessly assaulted by insects, including bloodsucking ticks, flesh-eating chiggers, cyanide-squirting millipedes, clothes-eating sauba ants, and parasitic worms that caused blindness, to name a few. The worst, however, were the mosquitoes. Like in the movie, they turned the explorer’s faces and hands into a mass of itching blood-blisters. To make matters worse, they also transmitted malaria and yellow fever, which many of the explorers contracted and died from. Mosquitoes have been said to be the chief reason that much of the Amazon is still largely uncharted territory. -David Grann, Boston MOS
When did Percy Fawcett’s wife Nina last hear from him before he disappeared?
Nina Fawcett received a letter from her husband dated May 29, 1925. It included his last written words to her, “You have no fear of any failure,” he assured his wife. The failure he was referring to was of course a failure to locate “Z”, the ancient city that he believed existed deep in the Amazon jungle. In January 1927, more than a year and a half after Fawcett’s last communication, the Royal Geographical Society were left with little choice but to accept the men as lost. -CNN.com
What happened to explorer Percy Fawcett?
In 2005, author David Grann travelled to Brazil and attempted to retrace Percy Fawcett’s steps. In his book, he suggests that Fawcett and his two companions reached Dead Horse Camp (the location that found him shooting his horse and turning back on his previous expedition). A tribe of natives known as the Kalapalo, whose village is in the Dead Horse Camp location, told Grann a tale of a white explorer, a story which had been passed down through the tribe’s oral history. Grann believed that man to have been Percy Fawcett. An elderly woman in the tribe remembered seeing Fawcett (a white explorer) and his companions when she was just a girl. The Kalapalo had warned the explorer and his group (thought to include Percy’s son Jack Fawcett and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimell, who both appeared lame) not to go eastward into hostile territory, which was controlled by a warrior tribe they referred to as the “fierce Indians.” The warning was ignored and the three men never returned, leading the Kalapalo to believe they had been killed by the neighboring hostile tribe.
Percy Fawcett’s final expedition is believed to have led him into hostile territory. After May 29, 1925, his group, which included himself, his son Jack, and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimell, was never heard from again.
How many people have died in search of Percy Fawcett?
It is estimated that roughly 100 people have died as part of 13 expeditions that set out in search of answers with regard to the fate of Percy Fawcett. Early expeditions hoped to find him alive, while later ones searched for remains and answers to what had become of him, his son Jack, and Raleigh Rimell. Peter Fleming, the brother of James Bond author Ian Fleming, went on one of the failed expeditions but survived to tell of the adventure. -Telegraph.co.uk
Have any of Percy Fawcett’s theories about ancient civilizations in Brazil been proven true?
Yes. Even though his theories were initially scoffed at, a large portion of them have since been proven true. This includes the recent discovery of a monumental ancient civilization known as Kuhikugu close to the area where Fawcett and his team were looking. Is it possible that Fawcett stumbled upon the Kuhikugu ruins before his death? One can certainly speculate as the movie does, but David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z, tends to believe what the Kalapalo tribe told him, that Fawcett, his son Jack, and his son’s friend Raleigh Rimell were killed by a nearby hostile tribe. For five evenings, the Kalapalo had observed the trio’s campfire before it vanished on the sixth night, convincing them that Fawcett and his two companions had been killed by the “fierce Indians.”
If ancient Amazon civilizations existed, then what caused them to collapse?
Archaeologists believe that the Amazon may have sustained millions of people. The reason for the collapse of these ancient civilizations can be summed up in one word, disease. Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Amazon in the early 16th century and brought with them diseases to which the natives had no immunity. -David Grann, Boston MOS
The Lost City of Z Movie Trailer & Related Videos
Broaden your knowledge of The Lost City of Z true story by watching the videos below, including a presentation by author David Grann on Percy Fawcett and his search for the ancient city he referred to as “Z”.
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