“The Physician” is the story of an English surgeon’s apprentice who sets off on a journey across Europe to learn medicine from Muslims in Persia.
The movie is set in 11th century England, at a time when medicine in Europe was still in the dark ages.
Based on a bestselling novel by US author Noah Gordon, “The Physician” premiered in Berlin ahead of its Christmas release.
Its director told of the challenges he faced in adapting a 600-page novel to film:
“How does one condense such a novel into a feature film and still manage to capture its spirit and remain loyal to the story? That was our biggest challenge,” said Phillipp Stölzl.
English actor Tom Payne plays the young apprentice, Rob Cole:
“I realised that actually a lot of Rob’s journey in the film is about family, really, and the fact that he doesn’t have one and he finds family everywhere he goes,” he said.
Besides being worlds away, the school he wants to attend doesn’t admit Christians. So Rob decides to take on the guise of a Jewish student. Ensues the tale of an adventurous and inspiring quest for medical knowledge in a violent world filled with superstition and prejudice.
Noah Gordon was delighted with the movie adaptation of his novel:
“How impressed I am with this cast, how wildly talented I think they are and what a wonderful job Philipp did to make a long and interesting movie, so thank you all,” he said.
Tom Payne stars alongside Sweden’s Stellan Skarsgård, French actor Olivier Martinez and England’s Emma Rigby, as well as Sir Ben Kingsley in the role of his mentor.
“The Physician” is out in Germany and Spain on Christmas Day.