What's wrong with this picture?

This is a frame from the movie "Exodus: Gods and Kings"

@Pat Mmm, I've tried looking up a few potential issues but they all checked out. So I don't know what's wrong with the picture. Tell us? :)

@Pat Well, when I saw the picture my line of thinking went along like this:

- Did scale mail exist back then? *Searches* Mm, yeah, that's certainly possible. It was mentioned in a reign before this movie was set in.

- Okay, so, did they have those kind of trumpets back then? Yeah, there were even Egyptian drawings depicting that style trumpet. It's just that the ones with valves existed around 1800s. The medieval type trumpets already existed since Egyptian times. They're apparently called buisine.

- Ok fine. So, hairstyle. Is that normal? Yeah, the usual Egyptian style is often bald shaved (against heat and lice), and they often wore wigs. But they did have external influence, in particular from the Romans (almost typed Romulans there, lol), so that isn't really unthinkable either.

Am I overthinking this? :)


You're on the right track. It's something that doesn't fit with the historical facts.

@Pat The only one I can still think of is: Too many white people there? Other than that I'm out of ideas. I'm not knowledgeable enough to figure out if the decorations are all period-appropriate.


The use of the Glaive style weapon would place this in the New Kingdom Era (~1500BC - 1000BC)

Ancient egypt was neither predominately black nor white, they were egyptian, including the slaves. Blacks and whites of course had visited the land but would have been an extreme minority. Therefore most of the characters here, who seem either white or black, would be out of place in any time period.

Spears were not particularly wide spread enough to be the common weapon of a palace guard either. They were used mainly to hunt and rarely (though not absent from) the military.


@freemo @trinsec

DNA evidence shows that Ramses III had Y chromosomal haplogroup E1b1a1-M2, and ancient Egyptians in general had E-M2, which originated in western Africa.

Also, contemporary paintings from the time show that people were dark-skinned.

@Pat @freemo
I only know that there was a great diversity among pharaohs. There were Nubians (around 700BC-ish) and even Greek Macedonians. So, black or white wouldn't have mattered terribly much for the Egyptians methinks.


You can find individual exceptions among pharaohs and even the Egyptian culture, sure. But these are exceptions and not the norm.


@freemo @trinsec

Historically, science tried to categorize by race, but now that has been rejected. They study specific phenotypes and trace the origins and migration of those genes.

You are right about the variation of skin color. Melinen content varies by latitude (or more precisely by insolation) and takes about 10,000-30,000 years to change in a population (from what I remember). The haplogroup I mentioned originated about 30,000 years ago in west Africa, so likely ancient Egyptian's skin was lighter than in central or west Africa.

But ancient Egyptians (<~1500 BC) definitely were not Welch or any other ethnicity north of Rome, which is the ethnicity of the actors playing those parts.

@freemo @trinsec

It not just the numbers of black people in film, it's how they are represented.

Rarely is a black person cast for a leading character who is, for example a Wall Street banker or in a position of authority or dominance over a character played by a white person. If a black actor plays a boss, it typically is a "mean boss" or one who is in opposition to the protagonist.

Or black people are rappers, janitors, criminals, slaves, soldiers, boxers, cops, etc. Or they are killed off early in the film. Even black extras are slighted in films, often placed towards the edge of the frame or blurred out or a white extra walks in front them. It's rampant in Hollywood, and it's not just unconscious bias -- it intentional.

Pick your favorite five films and look at them though that lens. You'll see.


I agree black people can be cast in a racist way.

But what I was referring to wasn't just the numbers they appear in films. Not only do they play leading roles more often than their occurrence in the general population would suggest, but they also win more grammys than their percentage in the population.

So while I wont disagree that racism is often applied to how they are cast, they are also favored more so than other races when awarding them, suggesting the opposite of racism, favoritism at that level. Asians experience this even more so.


@freemo @Pat @trinsec i notice this more in modern films than older ones. 80's and 90's stuff i used to watch the black folk were regularly equal to white folk incl. wearing suits and being well spoken.

there seems to be some modern thing where its taboo to have a well dressed well spoken black person unless their role is to bitch about racism the entire series.


Depending on the movie I can see that actually. Though I think 80s wokeness was just a better wokeness, you had 80s shows that were just plain old racist too which would be the non-woke side of 80s I guess.

Consider any movie with eddie murphy in it for example. He was usually well spoken and had some degree of respect. Switching places is a good example that kinda hits it on the nose where its even commentary on this very thing.

@Pat @trinsec


@freemo @icedquinn @trinsec

Trading Places was a kind of backhanded racial awareness -- Murphy's character was still "poor black" while Aykroyd's character was the "rich white banker".

And for every Trading Places, there five films like Top Gun, which was horribly racist.

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In trading places I think the whole point was "hey there is racism so black people are often poor as a result, but they are just as capable of being rich, lets switch them and prove it"... it was literally commentary on the very thing we are discussing.

I dont remember Top Gun well enough to recall the racism in it, though I dont doubt it might be there.

My expiernce with 80's movies is that when it did good black-positive stuff it wasnt at the expense of whites. There was little racism towards whites and a good deal of positive towards blacks (though as you point out plenty of racism towards them). I think this was a good direction to head in.

Today we may have more black-positive movies, though it feels like the numbers are the ame, but the racism towards whites is off the charts and I think that approach has just set us back on the whole race issue overall.

@icedquinn @trinsec

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