• Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

The true story behind the Last Duel: a historian deciphers Ridley Scott’s film


Oct 14, 2021

Olivier Pallaruelo

Film journalist / Video games editorial manager

Nourished by VHS and genre films, Olivier Pallaruelo willingly abandons fiction to immerse himself in reality with documentaries and current affairs. In love with physical media, he has also spent a lot of time in front of video games since his earliest childhood.

In theaters since Wednesday, October 13, “The Last Duel”, by Ridley Scott, is a visceral visual experience coupled with a powerful narrative with a very modern echo. Decryption of key elements of the film in the company of a medievalist historian.

Powerful medieval fresco unfolding during the Hundred Years War, as spectacular as it is intimist and painful, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel strikes hard, largely putting History into perspective by instilling (in particular) a female point of view, in a narrative structure à la Rashômon.

An aspect that turns out to be central and ultimately essential in the story of this affair of duel … but above all of rape.

But is this only the last duel? What about the words of the woman in the Middle Ages, victim of such a crime? The woman, seen elsewhere as an eternal temptress, she who is the incarnation of “the daughter of Eve”; the one through whom original sin happened. It is to shed light on these -important- points that we asked Julie Pilorget, in order to decipher certain aspects of the film.

Doctor in Medieval History, Associate of History teaching at the University of Paris VII Diderot and Science-Po Paris, this specialist who works in particular on the History of women and gender, defended in November 2018 a thesis on the place of women in town at the end of the Middle Ages in the north of France.