If is there any man who didn’t see yet The Physician, please go yourselves a favor and watch this masterpiece.
The first time when i catch a glimpse of the movie i didn’t like it. England, 1020 or so, no way, i’m not gonna lose 2 and a half hours for this. But when i see Ben Kingsley on the cast, i told to myself that guy never starred in a bad movie.
And i was astonished by the movie. So, here’s some résumé of it.
Is the year 1020. Rob Cole is the eldest of three children.
He and his mother worked in a coal mine. Or something like that. And in one day, his mother got sick. They called it “side-sickness“. Rob had a gift. He sense the death of a ill person, just by touching the patients chest. So he descover that his mother will die soon.
When his mother die, the Cole household is parceled out to various neighbors and friends. The Cole children are parceled out likewise.
Rob is taken by the only one who wants him: a traveling barber-surgeon who goes only by the name of Barber. Over the next years, he takes Rob as his apprentice. He teaches the boy how to juggle, to draw caricatures, to tell stories, to entertain a crowd, to sell the patent nostrum on which they make their living. He also teaches the boy all he knows of medicine – which is little. Remember the year is 1020.
When Barber got cataract, nobody could help him. They heard about a medic, named The Jew who was able to remove the cataract for a price. A big price that means.
They met the Jewish physician in Malmesbury who tells him of schools in Córdoba, Toledo, even in far-away Persia, where the medical and scientific learning of the Muslim is taught. Unfortunately, besides being worlds away, the schools do not admit Christians – and even if they did, no country in Christendom would allow a person with such heathen learning to return.
Barber had his catarct removed, and praised the Lord for this miracle.
Rob decides that he shall take on the guise of a Jewish student, so that he can travel to Persia and study at the feet of Avicenna. This decision carries its own risks: while Jews generally were allowed more freedom in the Muslim world than they were in Christian Europe, Rob would still have to cross Europe, where Jews were routinely faced with blood libels, expulsions, forced conversions and killings.
Rob travels, as a Christian, from London throughout Europe to Constantinople. Here he becomes Jewish in appearance, and travels eastwards with a group of Jewish merchants, learning their ways as best he can.
Rob arrives in Persia, and his first goal was to circumcise himself, just to apears as a Jewish. Then tries to enter into the school of physicians there. He is not allowed access. He struggles to find a place in the city while searching for a way to enter the school. He was beaten by a student and trown in the street. An old man find him and took him to a hospital. There, the same man, a doctor, treated him, and realised that Rob (now Jesse ben Benjamin – Jewish name) wants to study under the great physician, Avicenna.
The second day he is granted to enter the “faculty“, where he discovers that the old man who treated him was Avicenna himself. So Rob started to sudy hard, and became his best student.
Meanwhile, at the city gates, a great army formed, eager to dethrone the Shah. And to weaken the city defence, they send a bubonic plague carring man into the city. The result was over 100 deaths per day. But Rob found out that the fleas carry the disease. And him, Avicenna, and the rest of the students develop a poison for killng the rats. And they burned all the dead bodies, their clothes and all the death rats. The result was, after some time, the number of deaths and ill people dropped from 100 per day to 2-3 per day.
And enough about the movie. I don’t want to spoil the fun of watching it. But, my God, it worths!