About two minutes into the new Polish docudrama Born For The Saber, I exclaimed aloud:
“Teddy Roosevelt would have LOVED this!”
The film — available with English subtitles on Amazon Prime and iTunes — is a passion project created to honor and preserve the heritage of the Polish saber and the 17th-century martial culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for which the saber was the iconic symbol. It is an old-fashioned tale of the education of a warrior and, as such, it is almost startling to find it in the current socio-cultural climate.
Make no mistake, the training of the young Polish nobleman depicted here would be considered by a broad swath of the current population — immersed in a mindset of victimology — to be “abuse.” We here at RIR see the enobling of “the strenuous life” and are well pleased.
Set in Poland during the first half of XVII century, the epic documentary-drama “Born for the saber” tells the story of young knight Blazej Wronowski. Jan Jerlicz, a veteran of the Muscovite wars who returns to his fatherland upon Maciej Wronowski’s — his brother’s in arms request to begin training his son, Blazej.
“Born For The Saber” is a feature story about honor, courage and war, seen through the eyes of a young noble and knight growing up in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Documentary part of the movie is a cinematic journey through history and art of the mystique of high-end crafting of the Polish saber, which to date is considered to be one of the best melee weapons on the globe. Word class experts demonstrate the art of saber fighting and forging this extraordinary weapon.
The nobility of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a genuine aristocracy — they earned status through martial prowess and the readiness to bleed for their fatherland. The Poles were at war constantly through the 17th Century; against the Ottoman Turks to the south, Muscovy across the steppes to the east, the Swedes to the north. Their culture was built around a medieval concept of knighthood and Catholic piety. For them, the Cross and the Saber were interlocked.
While the lance-and-saber armed mounted Hussar was the pinnacle of a chivalric culture, they were not slow to adapt to the game-changing advent of gunpowder.
The knights of the Commonwealth formed a potent frontier culture — one that, in TR’s formulation, represented a high civilization that yet retained the barbarian virtues.
Born For The Saber will strike a chord with anyone who thrills to strenuous living in a rugged landscape and to values of duty, honor and courage.
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