Main Cast : Rutger Hauer - The Mystic Monk
Tchéky Karyo - Dr. Michel de Notredame “Nostradamus”
F. Murray Abraham - Scalinger
Amanda Plummer - Caterina De' Medici
Julia Ormond - Marie
Assumpta Serna - Anne
Anthony Higgins - King Henry II
Diana Quick - Diane de Portier
Michael Gough - Jean de Remy
Maia Morgenstern - Helen
Screenplay: Piers Ashworth and Roger Christian
Plot: This film dramatically portrays the life and times of the extraordinary 16th-century visionary who lived in constant mortal danger of the Spanish Inquisition.
Although the knowledge he sought was forbidden by the tyrannical rule of the Catholic Church, he risked his life by studying new forms of medicine in the hope of finding a cure for the unforgiving plague that swept through Europe.
His unorthodox medical techniques enraged both the church and the medical profession.
His survival was nothing short of miraculous. Since childhood, Nostradamus experienced visions of the future. Although they threatened his sanity at times, he was compelled to record these predictions. Nostradamus aimed to guide humanity through both the catastrophic and momentous events he foresaw.
With this mission in mind, he survived not only the Inquisition, but also the plague and the devastating death of his first wife and children.
Rutger's appearance in this movie lasts only few minutes. He plays the part of the "Mystic Monk", who sets his monastery on fire. Rutger, during its shooting, stated, “Actually I don't think he is crazy, but then I never think weird characters are crazy. I like the flavor of insanity and understanding guidance that are both in his character. Nostradamus is experiencing moments of doubts when he meets the monk, and by embracing him and his ramblings, the monk helps him understand he is doing the right thing. There's a lot of knowledge and wisdom in the rambling.”
Rutger's mystic monk wears a strange crown with burning candles, “The crown was basically a practical sort of thing. He is an inventor and he makes it so that he can see while still having his hands free, like a miner, but you could also see it as a sort of an aura. I enjoyed seeing how people reacted to it”.
Michel de Notredame was born on December 14, 1503 at St. Remy in Provence, from a family of “Christianized Jews”. He was taught a wide range of subjects by both his grandfathers.
In Avignon he learned philosophy, grammar, rethoric, classical literature, history, medicine, astrology and herbal and folk medicine, all subjects which we was very interested in.
Nostradamus (the Latin version of his name) became well known due to his novel and the very successful treatment of bubonic plague, the “Black Death” that hit Europe in the early 16th century. To the ignorant, closed mind, Nostradamus was a creature of the devil. From philosophers, he continues to draw praise and curses. Poets remain perplexed by the meaning of his wild verses. Interpretation is open to all.
Nostradamus stayed alert to the end of his life, even though he was in great pain caused by arthritis, gout and dropsy. When his assistant wished him goodnight on July 1, 1566, he replied “You will not find me alive at sunrise”.
Without any doubt, he continues to fascinate us. The man who so accurately predicted events of our past - including his own death - may very well have been right about our future.