Romulus & Remus: The First King

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Romulus & Remus: The First King
Directed byMatteo Rovere
Produced byAndrea Paris
Matteo Rovere
Written byFilippo Gravino
Francesca Manieri
Matteo Rovere
StarringAlessandro Borghi
Alessio Lapice
Music byAndrea Farri
CinematographyDaniele Ciprì
Edited byGianni Vezzosi
Release date
  • 31 January 2019 (2019-01-31)
Running time
127 minutes
CountryItaly
LanguageProto-Latin

Romulus & Remus: The First King (Italian: Il primo re) is a 2019 Italian historical drama film directed by Matteo Rovere.

Set in the 8th century BC, it is about the shepherd brothers Romulus and Remus and the founding of Rome. The main actors are Alessandro Borghi and Alessio Lapice.

All spoken dialogue is in proto-Latin. The movie had a budget of 7.5 million euros.[1]

Plot[edit]

In Old Latium in 753 BC, a flash flood causes the two shepherd brothers Romulus and Remus to be stranded and captured as slaves in Alba Longa. They are able to rebel and free the other Latin and Sabine prisoners and take the Vesta priestess Satnei, who carries with her the sacred fire, as hostage. In a conflict concerning the injured Romulus, Remus ends up killing the Latin leader and becomes the new leader of the tribe.

The group face and defeat a warrior clan and Remus is appointed king by the surviving old men and women of their pagus. During a sacrifice, Satnei predicts that one of the two brothers will become a great king and build an empire larger than what can be imagined, but to do so he will have to kill the other brother. The tribe assume that the prophecy means that Romulus will end up dead for the sake of his brother's greatness.

Remus refuses to accept a divine order that requires him to kill his brother. He extinguishes the sacred fire of Vesta, kills an old priest and leaves Satnei helpless in the middle of a forest. Returning to the pagus, Remus degrades all the inhabitants into slaves. Romulus regains his health and confronts Remus about his actions. Remus, regretful, goes to find Satnei, who while dying from having been attacked by wild animals tells him that sparing Romulus now means that it is Remus who will end up dead at the hands of Romulus.

Romulus is able to rekindle the sacred fire and becomes the new leader of the pagus. He appoints a young woman to watch over the fire so it remains lit, thereby establishing the first Vestal. Remus, trying to escape the prophecy, heads for the Tiber with a group of men, but is attacked by Alban cavalry and only saved by the tribe of Romulus. Remus then claims the tribe for himself, and threatening to extinguish the sacred flame is confronted by his brother. Remus induces his brother to kill him so that the prophecy can be fulfilled. On his deathbed he makes peace with his brother, recognizes him as his king, and tells him to establish a city on the other side of the river.

The tribe cross the Tiber and burn Remus' body on a pyre. Romulus swears to build the world's largest and most powerful city on his brother's ashes. He gives the city the name of Rome.

During the end credits, an animated map shows the expansion of the territory subject to Rome up to its peak under the emperor Trajan in 117.

Cast[edit]

Distribution[edit]

Originally set for a release at the end of 2018,[2] the film was distributed in Italian cinemas by 01 Distribution beginning on 31 January 2019.[3][4]

The film had grossed 2.1 milion euros after the first three weeks of screening.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Venice: France’s Indie Sales to Sell ‘The First King’ by Italy’s Matteo Rovere (EXCLUSIVE). Variety.
  2. ^ Gabriele Niola (18 February 2018). "First Look: Matteo Rovere's Roman epic 'The First King' (EXCLUSIVE)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Il Primo Re di Matteo Rovere dal 31 gennaio al cinema!". MyMovies.it. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Il primo re". 01distribution.it. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  5. ^ MYmovies.it. "Il Primo Re sale sul podio del box office". MYmovies.it (in Italian). Retrieved 29 May 2019.

External links[edit]