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KnightsLast of their Kind (eps. 3)

“He can kiss my behind” – the famous quote of Götz von Berlichingen to a bailiff, immortalised by the young Goethe. It’s a sign of changing times. Like his ancestors, the young Imperial Knight Götz is destined to fight for his emperor to gain honour and defend the rights of his people. But who is to pay for all this fighting and fanfare? There’s no place in modern times for the dashing life of the knights, the expensive armour, the horses, and the indispensable castle. Many Imperial Knights lose their jobs and fall into poverty by the early 1500s. Götz tries something new: feuds, robbery and extortion are to pay for his lavish lifestyle. His fall into lawlessness stands for the demise of the time of the knights and leads us to explore the rise of the robber knights and the end of an era. Peasant revolts, armies of mercenaries, and a new way to fight wars using muskets and canons make the mounted knight in his cumbersome armour a thing of the past. Emperor Maximilian I describes himself as ‘the last knight’, yet he is one of the catalysts for this new society and revolutionised art of war, which eventually puts an end to the time of the knights.

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Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion for ZDF and ZDF Enterprises
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