Doc­u­men­taries

New Zealand Listener - - THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT - By FIONA RAE

In Chivalry and Be­trayal: The Hun­dred Years’ War (Choice

TV, Mon­day, 8.30pm), Jan­ina Ramirez takes on the rather large task of ex­plain­ing, in three episodes, the me­dieval wars that wrenched Eng­land and France asun­der.

In ad­di­tion, as a cul­tural his­to­rian, she aims to ex­plain the im­pact of 114 years of con­flict on the gen­eral pop­u­lace and the art, re­li­gion, ar­chi­tec­ture and lit­er­a­ture of the two coun­tries.

“I wanted to show not just the lives of the kings, knights and bish­ops, the bat­tles, the sieges and the pol­i­tics,” Ramirez says on

the BBC web­site. “We tried to cre­ate a nar­ra­tive that held to­gether and gave the broad­est pic­ture – and through con­sult­ing ex­perts on both sides of the Chan­nel, we tried to take on board a range of of­ten very dif­fer­ing view­points.”

Film­ing took Ramirez and her crew to bat­tle sites, cas­tles, li­braries and churches all over Eng­land and France. Her most mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence was see­ing and han­dling the skull of in­fa­mous chan­cel­lor and arch­bishop Si­mon Sud­bury, who was killed dur­ing the Peas­ants’ Re­volt in 1381 and whose head was dis­played on Tower Bridge.

The first episode be­gins in 1337, with Ed­ward the

III of Eng­land’s de­ci­sion to land an army in Nor­mandy. Many kings would come and go be­fore the fi­nal bat­tle at Castil­lon in 1453.

In Chivalry and Be­trayal: The Hun­dred Years’ War, Mon­day.

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