Film review: The Physician

A story about the dangers of religious extremism and the wonders of the Orient, The Physician is a 150-minute film that uses a great deal of computer generated images to conjure up a tale as stunning as anything told to Scheherazade.

Set almost exactly 1000 years ago, the film opens in Viking-era England, with unspoiled landscapes as far as the eye can see, but where Christianity ordains that prayer alone can cure someone in pain (not unlike modern-day Christian Scientists), and that any kind of medicine is the work of the devil and of witches.

One of the people in pain is a single mother who cares for her children as well as she can, but who suffers terrible pain in her stomach — something everyone simply refers to as “side sickness,” for lack of understanding it is in fact the very curable appendicitis.

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