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Era: Early Modern

16th Century – 17th Century
The basis of world trade shifts from land-based routes to ocean-going as Europe finally becomes a major world player. The European Renaissance is in full flower, but the destruction of American civilizations and birth of the Atlantic African slave trade also leave their mark on this era. Major empires include the Qing Dynasty, Mughal India, and the Safavid, Ottoman, Spanish, and Hapsburg Empires.

1492: Conquest of Paradise

  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Release Date: 1992
  • Production Country: France, Spain

When Columbus finds land while searching for a route to China, he believes this is his opportunity to start a new life with a new city under his rule... but the arrival of his ships has tragic consequences for the natives they encounter and Columbus struggles with the duties of leader. Meanwhile, back in Spain, forces there are conspiring against Columbus to strip him of all he has gained.

1612: Khroniki smutnogo vremeni (1612: Chronicles of the Dark Time)

  • Director: Vladimir Khotinenko
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Production Country: Russia

Czarina Kseniya Godunova is heir to the throne with a power hungry Polish husband who wants to rule Russia; a serf enamored with the czarina attempts to help her reach her rightful place.

A Man for All Seasons

  • Director: Fred Zinnemann
  • Release Date: 1966
  • Production Country: United Kingdom

A principled and devout man, Sir Thomas More finds himself on the wrong side of the argument when King Henry VIII is determined to divorce not only his current wife, but the church that refuses to allow him to set her aside. But the King looks to get Sir More's approval, one way or another.


  • Director: Roger Gnoan M'Bala
  • Release Date: 2000
  • Production Country: France, Switzerland, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Italy

Ossei believes his family to be killed and his village destroyed in a raid by their neighbor King Adanggaman; however, Ossei discovers that his mother is still alive and pursues the soldiers who are marching their captives to market, hoping to free her before she, along with the rest of his people, is sold into slavery.

Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (Aguirre: The Wrath of God)

  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Release Date: 1972
  • Production Country: West Germany

A brief mission by a small group of conquistadors sent to explore up the Amazon becomes a nightmare when one of the men leads a mutiny, refusing to turn back because he believes that El Dorado lies ahead of them, up the river. Forced to continue their trip, the soldiers who supported the mutineer find themselves trapped with him as he descends into madness, but it's not clear if he is corrupted by his own dreams of power and avarice, or if the land itself taking revenge on the conquerors.

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