PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS (1979)
Article 3040 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-3-2009
Posting Date: 12-10-2009
Featuring Kirk Alexander, Richard Butler, John Waters
What it is: Speculative documentary involving prophecies and future predictions
The life of Nostradamus is told, and the prophecies in his quatrains are examined.
In terms of the speculative nature of this sort of documentary, I do feel compelled to point out two facts right off the bat. Apparently the quatrains were purposefully written in an elusive manner and in several different languages so he could avoid the stigma of witchcraft. Secondly, during a sequence which explores a prophecy that took place during his lifetime, Nostradamus was quoted as saying that his prophecies could be avoided. These are what I think of as “outs”; if a prophecy doesn’t come true, we either a) didn’t understand them, or b) avoided them. In short, we’re asked not to judge him on the basis of the prophecies that don’t take place.
As far as the prophecies that did take place, I’ll have to reserve judgment; I’ve never read the prophecies themselves, and I’m no expert on the historical events they are purported to have predicted. If the movie itself can be trusted in this regard, than I will say that some of them do seem quite accurate. However, the last third of the movie consists of predictions of the future. Now the interesting thing about watching a documentary of this nature thirty years after the fact is that we can look at these predictions, and ask “Did they come true?” Considering that the prophecies state that World War III should have started somewhere between 1981 and 1998, I’d have to say that the predictions are way off. But there are those “outs” mentioned above; were the prophecies misunderstood? Did we avoid them? Or are they a load of hooey?
At any rate, I do think this is one of the better documentaries of this nature, though it’s another case where you’ll probably know ahead of time whether you’d want to bother with this one or not.