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Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca set to conquer the big screen

A renowned Punic general once attempted to overturn Rome while mounted on an elephant. Today, movie screens are his next target.

Netflix, in collaboration with director Antoine Fuqua, is also venturing into this territory with a film dedicated to the Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca, who sought to conquer Rome astride an elephant. The promise of a spectacular cinematic experience is heightened by the casting of Denzel Washington in the lead role.

However, before Netflix announced its production on the Carthaginian strategist, the Tunisian director Moez Kamoun, backed by a subsidy from the Ministry of Culture, also began preparing a historical film on Hannibal Barca. Kamoun, known for overseeing the filming of various historical drama works in Tunisia, such as The Rise And Fall Of Rome by the BBC and HBO, is set to delve into the life of Hannibal in a Tunisian production.


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But who was Hannibal?

Hannibal, born in 247 BCE in Carthage (present-day Tunisia) to the Carthaginian leader Hamilcar Barca, grew up in a household fueled by ambition. Surrounded by siblings and shaped by his father’s ambition, Hannibal’s early years were marked by the desire for adventure. Carthage, once a dominant force, faced a formidable challenge from the rising Roman Republic, leading to the First Punic War in 264 BCE. Rome emerged victorious in 241 BCE, solidifying its dominance in the Western Mediterranean, and weakening Carthage in the process.

Hannibal Barca assumed control of the Punic state by the onset of the Second Punic War. The Carthaginian general is especially remembered for having carved a path through the Alps, he attempted to overthrow Rome by attacking from the North, engaging in battles around the Mediterranean basin, particularly in Spain and Italy, the most famous of which is the Battle of Cannae. The film is expected to focus on this episode, the Second Punic War, a period when Rome faced Hannibal’s forces. His ultimate defeat in Tunisia by the army of Scipio Africanus adds a dramatic climax to this historical narrative. Netflix’s hope to deliver a first-class cinematic experience is heightened by the fact that the lead role has been entrusted to American Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington.


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See also

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Published on 13 December 2023