Film adaptation of the earliest known poem in the English language (written in the 8th century) which examines the ancient and heroic tradition from which the feudal system started to grow. The Christian comments within the poem have been omitted from the film as it is believed they were not in the original text, but added at a later date. The film, as in the poem, is an elergy lamenting the not only the reality of a lost heroic tradition, but also the loss of innocence which made possible its unquestioning acceptance.

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