Dracula: The Vampire and the Voivode
This documentary purports to be the first ever to reveal the true story of Irish author Bram Stoker and his eternally-lauded novel Dracula. While I can't vouch one way or another for the veracity of that statement, I can say that this doc is connected to the Transylvanian Association of Dracula (yes, such an organization does exist) and features interviews with many Stoker and Dracula scholars, so it's overflowing with information that can scarcely be argued with.
It starts, if course, with the life if Bram Stoker and transitions into his novel, its inspirations (from other earlier written works to local legends), its effects on culture (Western as well as Romanian), and the character's tenuous connection to historical figure Vlad Tepes.
Though a bit dry at times and relying heavily on stock footage and talking head interviews, it's a well-executed and thoroughly researched documentary that will probably teach even the most knowledgeable vamp fan a thing or two. Nothing close to a Dracula scholar myself, nearly everything was news to me.
Interestingly, the filmmakers stick it to the book In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu, previously thought of as the ultimate scholarly treatment on the subject, as a misrepresentation of the truth. For those whose faith is placed in this tome, give Dracula: The Vampire and the Voivode a watch, and make up your own mind.
Enthralling, educating, and practically overwhelming, I can whole-heartedly recommend this movie to any fan of the novel, the movies, or those who thrive on learning the real roots of our beloved genre.
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