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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2013: Will Smith and screenwriter Randall Wallace, set to make "The Last Pharaoh"

The Egyptian Pharoah Taharqa: a member of the Nubian dynasty of Egypt, and he was more a ruler over the Kingdom of Kush. His reign can be dated from 690 BC to 664 BC. He was the son of Piye, the Nubian king of Napata who had first conquered Egypt. Mentioned by Greek historian Strabo as one of the greatest military tacticians in the world. He's believed to be Tirhakah, King of Ethiopia, who's mentioned in the Old Testament (noted in the bible in 2 Kings 19:9; and Isaiah 37:9 as Tirhakah) who drove the Assyrian king Sennacherib away from destroying Jerusalem.

Taharqa wasn't just a fighter, he was devoted to peaceful works like restoring temples, and building sanctuaries all over Nubia and Egypt. Nevertheless, his biggest claim to fame is fighting the Assyrians, who invaded Egypt in 677. He didn't exactly defeat them -- they took the city of Memphis and established the 26th dynasty, and Taharqa was driven back to Nubia, where he died in 664.

This movie definitely has the potential of an action packed story because Egypt's history is replete with drama and adventure, but I'm curious as to how it's going to be fleshed out. With screenwriter Randall Wallace (Braveheart) at the helm, I am willing to bet that Taharqa will become a mixture of King Leonidas and William Wallace. The saving of Jerusalem is, I think, the high point of the story and has the most historical relevance ... but I'm sure it will romantically illustrate how he attempted to defend his homeland, and that's reportedly what the film will focus on.

My Conclusion: It will be very interesting to see Will Smith deliver in the history genre and it will have to do better than movies like Troy and Alexander. I will also say what most people won't say...that Will Smith is one of the lightest skinned, socially accepted black actors in Hollywood and he'll play one of the blackest of Pharoahs in Ancient Egypt; so he'll have to go work on his tan, but regardless, I couldn't think of anyone better because Will Smith is the biggest box office draw in the business and a movie of this kind needs his type of commercial appeal, he's black enough to pull if off...lol. Something the movie won't show you is how Historically, it was really the armies of Taharqa's nephew Tantamani who were the ones who briefly wrested control of Egypt from the Assyrians before being driven back to Nubia, making Tantamani, not Taharqa, the last Pharaoh of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty, but oh well. Another point to bring up is this; President Obama's first term ends on January 20 2013, effectively though on November 4 2012 (if not re-elected). A month before or after the Mayan Doomsday of December 21, 2012. Just around this time is when Will Smith will galvanize the public mind around a black pharoah (symbolically this is Obama) as the last pharoah/president defending the homeland, against the Assyrians (who people will read as being the Arabs, i.e Iran and the Taliban). No one does prescriptive programming like Hollywood lol.

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Anonymous said...

Intrested to see how this movie will be recieved. If it is too much in your face like a "black history lesson", it won't do well. It is a fine line between entertainment and sending a message.
as a mother of three black boys, IT's AWESOME!!
I personally believe that the one of the reason black americans have such poor outcomes is that they do not have ENOUGH family traditions which is another passing down of history/foundation of our culture. THis stablizes communities by giving them an id and establishes a healthy guideline to how to live life. THis is one quality that I love about the asian(amongst other) cultures.

anyway tmi. only time will tell. Hey guess cant be any worst than wild wild west :(

Malik Melech Solomon said...

I agree with your comment...and thanks for posting your perspective.