"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

‘Gladiator’ Had a Huge Impact on My Childhood


One day as a kid, I was rummaging through old CDs and relics like cassette and VHS tapes when I came across this black DVD with a building on the cover and gold letters reading “Gladiator.” So naturally, I was curious about what this was and asked my dad what it was about. He said something along the lines of “you will never know until you see for yourself.”

So, I go ahead and put on the movie. It starts with a historical backdrop of where the story starts. A Roman emperor is trying to conquer what is known today as Germany. The main character is the leader of the army in the final battle in the war and the opening scene.

More Movies on History

GladiatorThis scene influenced the type of films I would like to make and the ideas I came up with as a kid. From the machinery used in the battle to the shots of the calvary going into battle, I was astounded as a kid. I wanted to know how to make more of what I saw.

As the scene went on, I felt like I was part of the action, and I kept a yardstick with a pillow as my shield whenever I watched. I tried finding more battle scenes like the one in “Gladiator,” but I could not find many. Because of this scene and the lack of many good ones, most of my movie ideas are history-related.

History Connection

This scene also influenced my love for history. I grew up searching for documentaries on the Roman Empire and then other empires and civilizations. When I went to the library, I used to go to a section with books on countries of the world. I went straight to history out of all the sections on the country’s economy, architecture, or geography.

I looked up Napoleon, Julius Caesar, the World Wars, and pretty much any history I could find. There was a time when the History Channel was my go-to network for content. I think all of this stems from one scene in “Gladiator.”

The movie as a whole influenced my childhood greatly. However, for the purposes of this article, the five-minute battle scene at the beginning of “Gladiator” is my focus.

Written By Chiagozie Onyewuchi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Eva Rinaldi’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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