The Mythology and The Legend of Tomiris

17 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


Available on Amazon Prime and Home Video

Xena: Warrior Princess may well have taken inspiration from a certain ancient Kazakhstan queen. After watching The Legend of Tomyris, the real-life figure (well played by Almira Tursyn) from Massagetae–a region of Central Asia–is a person of huge renown. She’s inspired the Amazonians of lore, but I say she’s done more than simply unite the people of the Great Steppes. Her silent ferocity shows no fury like a woman scorned. In this film’s case, killing her husband and child led to a climactic battle against the invading Persians.

She helped bring all the tribes who lived in this region together. Much of the movie progresses in smaller movements, and I had to pause the film to take notes. In act one, Chief Spargap wanted a male heir, but got her instead. Some kingdoms consider this surprise a misstep and depending on the type of family, could have abandoned. Instead, he loved and raised her to be a warrior. The act is enduring. In the second chapter, the heroine’s journey trope hooked me in–but I wondered who is the winged creature in her nightmares? The supernatural element is very light and well-played to create a mystique.

Anyone not familiar with the modern country’s flag may well not realize the shadowy beast is a Tulpar. The charcoal fog around this figure made identifying it difficult.

Akan Sataev‘s direction fully realizes how the young girl becomes the warrior princess. She lost her father during a coup; her suffering is just enough to make her fierce in the battlefield. Much like Conan the Barbarian, she was taken away and didn’t find her strength until she finally rebels against her captors.

This movie is two and a half hour long and there’s a lot of mini episodes before the climax–Tomyris killing the Persian King Cyrus. The producers of this film no doubt took liberties to heighten the drama and anyone curious about her have online resources to consult. I was looking her up (while watching) to get a better of idea of the historical version since this home video release didn’t offer sufficient bonus material to look at afterwards.

I feel she’s as powerful as Queen Cleopatra and that alone is great since she belongs to that special list of women from antiquity who should never be forgotten.

4 Stars out of 5

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