Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Kingdom of Heaven - Movie on the Crusades: Will it Rewrite History?
Channel 4 ^ | 2005 | n/a

Posted on 04/14/2005 11:33:01 AM PDT by Pyro7480

Gladiator director Ridley Scott returns to the historical epic with a film about the Crusades. Will the potentially controversial tale starring Orlando Bloom be enough to revive a flagging genre?

With the failure of King Arthur, the critical mauling dished out to Troy and the disastrous performance of Oliver Stone's Alexander, the historical epic has been unable to capitalise on the surge of interest instigated by Gladiator's enormous success. It's only right then that Hollywood's continued interest in the genre will rest with Ridley Scott's Crusades film Kingdom Of Heaven. If it works it will give the historical epic a much-needed shot in the arm.

The film focusses on the run up to the third Crusade in the 12th century and promises to deliver onscreen carnage on a vast scale. Orlando Bloom stars as Balian, a French blacksmith reluctantly drafted into the Crusades after travelling to Jerusalem to absolve himself of sin after his wife's suicide. Jerusalem at this time was ruled by the Catholic king, Baldwin IV, but he's suffering from leprosy and his policy that Muslims, Jews and Christians should be able to co-exist is under threat from his brother-in-law, Guy De Lusignan (Csokas), who is intent on wiping out the Muslims.

Given that one of the film's biggest set-pieces is the Battle of Hattin, in which the Crusaders are slaughtered by the forces of Muslim leader Saladin (Massoud), and the other major battle is Saladin's subsequent siege of Jerusalem, the film sounds potentially controversial, especially in the current political climate. According to Scott, though, it's actually the Christian forces that come off worst. "All you've got to do is tell the truth," says the director. "The whitest knight was Saladin and the worst fundamentalists were Christian. They made the problem."

Predictably the film has already upset some people. An article in The New York Times, which attempted to stir up controversy by supplying a number of academics with a purloined copy of the script, quoted one expert on Islamic history as saying the movie would teach people to hate Muslims by propagating stereotypes of them as "retarded, backward [and] unable to think in complex form". An article in the 'Telegraph' quoted several British academics who believed the film (which no one has seen) pandered to Islamic fundamentalism by portraying the Muslims as sophisticated and civilised and the Crusaders as brutes and barbarians.

Seems Scott can't win, but he has nothing but praise for writer William Monahan's script, describing it as "the best material I've ever had". A former journalist, Monahan used primary sources as much as possible to shape the story and while some will question the film's accuracy, as Scott points out, history is conjecture anyway. "There's 300 years of perception and a mass of material so what you do is you glean through a lot of it and form your own opinion."

What's not in any doubt is the quality of the cast Scott has assembled. Bloom may not have impressed in Troy but his character here is more chivalrous and it certainly promises to be a meatier, grungier role if he can muster the necessary gravitas. He's joined by rising star Eva Green (The Dreamers), who plays Lusignan's wife Sybilla and adds romantic tension by falling for Balian. Add to this mix Liam Neeson as Balian's father, Jeremy Irons as Tiberius, an uncredited Ed Norton as King Baldwin and the likes of David Thewlis and Brendan Gleeson in supporting roles and it's hard to see how Scott can go wrong.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; History; Islam; Orthodox Christian; Other Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; christian; crusades; history; islam; kingdomofheaven; muslim; religion; scott
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-79 next last
"The whitest knight was Saladin and the worst fundamentalists were Christian. They made the problem."

Come again? The Muslim hoardes invade more than half of the land that was then Christian, enslave pilgrims to the Holy Land, and the Christians are somehow at fault? Sheesh...

1 posted on 04/14/2005 11:33:04 AM PDT by Pyro7480
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Siobhan; Canticle_of_Deborah; broadsword; NYer; Salvation; sandyeggo; american colleen; ...

Catholic ping!


2 posted on 04/14/2005 11:34:44 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

Are you really suprised?


3 posted on 04/14/2005 11:36:00 AM PDT by NeoCaveman ("It's time for the constitutional option Senator Frist" route-82.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

lol. That is correct. Muslims had absolutely nothing to do with the Crusades and the Catholic Church was just being a viscious, racist, tyrant in attacking a poor, innocent people. /sarcasm


4 posted on 04/14/2005 11:36:08 AM PDT by mike182d ("Let fly the white flag of war." - Zapp Brannigan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Siobhan; Canticle_of_Deborah; broadsword; NYer; Salvation; sandyeggo; american colleen; ...
Oh, if you want to watch the trailer, you can watch it here: Kingdom of Heaven
5 posted on 04/14/2005 11:38:57 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
uncredited Ed Norton as King Baldwin

however, I cannot think of a bad movie to date that had Ed Norton in it...
6 posted on 04/14/2005 11:39:22 AM PDT by mike182d ("Let fly the white flag of war." - Zapp Brannigan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480; Lil'freeper

Very disappointing. I was really looking forward to this movie. Guess I won't be seeing it. The black legend of the Crusades, as with many black legends about the Catholic Church, was created by the Protestants to attack the Church. I was hoping that recent events might have caused some to revisit the Crusades in a more historically accurate way.


7 posted on 04/14/2005 11:42:48 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." Pope JPII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

Saladin WAS a good guy. The problem is that PC history forgets that he was hardly typical of Muslim leaders.


8 posted on 04/14/2005 11:44:29 AM PDT by RobbyS (JMJ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper

Well, to give the benefit of the doubt to at least the movie, the content of the movie may not reflect the content of the director, since the movie does supposedly portray the massacre of a Crusader force trapped in a city. If they somehow portray the Crusaders as "deserving" it, then it deserves not to be seen.


9 posted on 04/14/2005 11:44:39 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: mike182d

NORTON!!!!

10 posted on 04/14/2005 11:45:39 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (This space for rent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS

I don't know much about Saladin, so I'll give you that. But to say the Christians "made the problem" is inaccurate, at best.


11 posted on 04/14/2005 11:45:59 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
They just don't get it.....

King Arthur was probably the best of the ones mentioned, but an amazonian Guenevere? C'mon!

Troy just plain stank.

Alexander was a movie-length commercial for homosexuality.

Maybe if they put out good historical films they'd actually see some measure of success. Just reading the above I can tell you that Kingdom will bomb because of Scott's comment about Christians being the bad guys.

12 posted on 04/14/2005 11:47:19 AM PDT by ksen ("He that knows nothing will believe anything." - Thomas Fuller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper
...was created by the Protestants to attack the Church.

Oh please.....

13 posted on 04/14/2005 11:48:28 AM PDT by ksen ("He that knows nothing will believe anything." - Thomas Fuller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands
NORTON!!!!

hummana-hummana-hummana!

14 posted on 04/14/2005 11:50:23 AM PDT by ksen ("He that knows nothing will believe anything." - Thomas Fuller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

It is possible that the movie will make out better than the sophomoric Troy, and the rest of pop-history movies of late. It will nevertheless be trash.

Our century is organically uncapable of understandiing the Crusades: we barely understand Christian or Muslim basics, we are indoctrinated against all holy works and all expresison of piety, we cannot conceive of a grassroots military enterprise even on a modest scale, and we fear war.

Choosing this subject is a dumb idea. But then one of the characteristics of the dumb is that they don't understand their limitation.


15 posted on 04/14/2005 11:53:34 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ksen

What, you mean the Lord of the Rings movies weren't historical? :-)


16 posted on 04/14/2005 11:55:27 AM PDT by ItsOurTimeNow ("O Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper

I've also been looking forward to it. I've been on a Crusade mode in my book selections recently. I believe there were atrocities on both sides. I certainly don't believe that the Muslims were the innocent oppressed people that many are claiming. So far I think I'll still see it.

One of my wishes is that a good movie would be made about Richard the Lion-Heart. I don't know of many people who had a more interesting life.


17 posted on 04/14/2005 11:56:56 AM PDT by loreldan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ksen
You betcha:

CRUSADE MYTHS

The Real Inquisition

18 posted on 04/14/2005 11:58:55 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." Pope JPII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ksen
an amazonian Guenevere? C'mon!

That's Celtic. And smile when you say that, podnuh! (I'd love to see the screenwriter's evidence that Pict women participated in battle. It does seem to be a nod to modern sensibilities.)

I thought it was a good movie but I'm a sucker for any treatment of the Arthurian story.

19 posted on 04/14/2005 12:10:04 PM PDT by siunevada
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper
Thanks for the links big'ol_freeper.

From your first link:

I never knew Martin Luther felt that way about the Crusades, although it does say that he changed his mind when Austria was overrun.

The second paragraph though I think is more relevant in that it states that the current thoughts about the Crusades come from people who hate Christianity in general.

In all my talks with people I have never seen a Protestant use the Crusades against the Catholics. I have seen over and over unbelievers using the Crusades against Christianity in general.

Your second link is about the Inquisition, not the Crusades.

20 posted on 04/14/2005 12:12:20 PM PDT by ksen ("He that knows nothing will believe anything." - Thomas Fuller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ksen; big'ol_freeper

The Inquisition, what a show.
The Inquisition, here we go.
We know you're wishin' that we'd go away!
So all you Muslims and you Jews
We got big news for all of yous:
You'd better change your point of views TODAY!
'Cause the Inquisition's here and it's here to stay!


21 posted on 04/14/2005 12:15:45 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (This space for rent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: ksen

Yes, I know my second link was about the Inquisition...if you go back to my post I said that the Crusades was just one of the black legends used by Protestants to attack the Catholic Church. The Inquisition is another.


22 posted on 04/14/2005 12:16:33 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." Pope JPII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper

Well, I promise not to use the Crusades against the Catholic church.


23 posted on 04/14/2005 12:18:51 PM PDT by ksen ("He that knows nothing will believe anything." - Thomas Fuller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands

I understand that the modern day head of the inquisition, Cardinal Ratzinger (Head of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith), is in the lead in early betting on who becomes the next Pope.


24 posted on 04/14/2005 12:20:31 PM PDT by ksen ("He that knows nothing will believe anything." - Thomas Fuller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper

Thank you for that link on the Inquisition. I had never seen it in that light. Excellent work, my friend. :-)


25 posted on 04/14/2005 12:24:44 PM PDT by mike182d ("Let fly the white flag of war." - Zapp Brannigan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ksen

Unless it's quoted in a Mel Brooks movie, I probably wouldn't know.


26 posted on 04/14/2005 12:24:50 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (This space for rent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ksen
...was created by the Protestants to attack the Church.

Oh please.....

What? You didn't realize you were responsible for all that? Sure! We Latin Catholics are perfectly innocent.

Well. Except for that whole 'ignoring the pope and slaughtering the Eastern Catholics in Constantinople' thing. That hasn't worked out so well. And the Jews and Catholics in Syria and Lebanon and Jerusalem. Yeah, hmmmm, okay, maybe things did get out of control.

27 posted on 04/14/2005 12:26:11 PM PDT by siunevada
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
People ignore the plain fact that the Arabs spread their faith by the sword, that they were the aggressors. In some cases. such as in Egypt, Christians were initially welcoming to the Muslims, because they hated the government of Constantinople. But as time wore on , they found themselves an oppressed, in somewhat the same position of the Irish under British rule. In the 11th Century, the situation in the Levant grew much worse under the Seljuk Turks, who were much more intolerant than the Arabs. It was they who triggered the First Crusade, because they cut off pilgrimages to the Holy Land and threatened Constantinople, the largest Christian city in the world.
28 posted on 04/14/2005 12:27:50 PM PDT by RobbyS (JMJ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS
People ignore the plain fact that the Arabs spread their faith by the sword, that they were the aggressors. In some cases. such as in Egypt, Christians were initially welcoming to the Muslims, because they hated the government of Constantinople.

Shhhh! That there's dangerous thinking nowadays...
29 posted on 04/14/2005 12:29:29 PM PDT by mike182d ("Let fly the white flag of war." - Zapp Brannigan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper; ksen

From the NR Online article:

"Now at last the scholars have made their report, an 800-page tome that was unveiled at a press conference in Rome on Tuesday. Its most startling conclusion is that the Inquisition was not so bad after all."

Yeah, right. By Vatican "scholars" from Vatican sources. I'm surprised they didn't just come out and say the protestants got what they deserved.


30 posted on 04/14/2005 12:33:50 PM PDT by topcat54
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: mike182d

>> however, I cannot think of a bad movie to date that had Ed Norton in it... <<

Well, Norton was very good in it, but there was a truly terrible movie with Richard Gere, wherein Norton kills a priest.


31 posted on 04/14/2005 12:40:25 PM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: topcat54
Yeah, right. By Vatican "scholars" from Vatican sources. I'm surprised they didn't just come out and say the protestants got what they deserved.

Like it or not, the Vatican contains an incredible wealth of history from over the past 2000 years (as it is one of the longest lasting institutions in existence today, surviving the rise and fall of various nations). Just because its in the Vatican doesn't make it irrelevant or "biased."
32 posted on 04/14/2005 12:43:10 PM PDT by mike182d ("Let fly the white flag of war." - Zapp Brannigan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Squire of St. Michael; pseudo-ignatius

Ping!


33 posted on 04/14/2005 12:44:11 PM PDT by Nauta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dangus
Well....yeah, that movie was pretty sketchy. I know what you're talking about but I can't remember the name. Ed Norton was really good though - a schizophrenic if I'm not mistaken.
34 posted on 04/14/2005 12:44:18 PM PDT by mike182d ("Let fly the white flag of war." - Zapp Brannigan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: mike182d; dangus
Primal Fear
35 posted on 04/14/2005 12:46:35 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (This space for rent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: ksen
I never knew Martin Luther felt that way about the Crusades, although it does say that he changed his mind when Austria was overrun.

Ego usque ad mortem luctor adversus Turcas et Turcarum Deum," Martin Luther wrote. "I will always struggle to the death against the Turks and the god of the Turks."

He seems pretty convinced on the day he wrote that. Bold words.

36 posted on 04/14/2005 12:46:35 PM PDT by siunevada
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: topcat54

>>>> "Now at last the scholars have made their report, an 800-page tome that was unveiled at a press conference in Rome on Tuesday. Its most startling conclusion is that the Inquisition was not so bad after all."

>>Yeah, right. By Vatican "scholars" from Vatican sources. I'm surprised they didn't just come out and say the protestants got what they deserved.

Umm... topcat, you do know that the Inquisition was applied to Moslims, don't you?


37 posted on 04/14/2005 12:48:05 PM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: ksen
modern day head of the inquisition, Cardinal Ratzinger

... did a great disservice to the Church by not revitalizing the Holy Inquisition when it was sorely needed to root out pederasty among priests. Maybe his successor will do better.

38 posted on 04/14/2005 12:53:06 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands

That's the one.

Ed Norton is in my estimation the best and most underrated younger actor. And he ain't so "younger" anymore. But he plays roles that are challenging but un-PC, so he gets neither the blockbusters nor the critic's adulation.

Other Ed Norton movies I've seen:
Rounders: Sketchy topic, but excellent character studies. ** 1/2
Keeping The Faith: A Jew and a Catholic join respective clergies and fall in love with the same woman. MUCH better than it sounds. ***
The Italian Job: I prefer it to Ocean's 11. ***1/2
American History X: Brutally honest exposition of the causes and effects of racism. Ouch. ****

Ed Norton hits I haven't seen:
Fight Club
Red Dragon
Frida (Marxist hagiography)
The People vs. Larry Flynt


39 posted on 04/14/2005 12:54:22 PM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: topcat54

... besides, the Vatican sources were the records kept by the Vatican. Should we believe rumor-mongering among illiterate peasantry, "histories" by those who weren't present, or the official records? If the records are contradictory, or don't square with other documents, then scholars will note that. But I dare say that the Catholic CHurch knows better what it did than the crafters of legend in distant England.


40 posted on 04/14/2005 12:59:05 PM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Between 1981 and 1994, the rate of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church dropped 93%. I'd say Rat-Zinger did a pretty good job.


41 posted on 04/14/2005 1:00:12 PM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: dangus
But I dare say that the Catholic CHurch knows better what it did than the crafters of legend in distant England.

...or the very people who wished to destroy it for that matter.
42 posted on 04/14/2005 1:01:23 PM PDT by mike182d ("Let fly the white flag of war." - Zapp Brannigan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: dangus

I generally like Ratzinger. I am sure he helped. But the approach past inquisitors would take would have been more effective: establish a tribunal in every bishopric under direct Vatican control; examine all suspects, from the bishop down, for heretical views, not merely for acts of abuse; defrock and shame the heretics; relax the criminals to the civil authority for prosecution. Both the internal integrity and the prestige of the Church would have been much better preserved.


43 posted on 04/14/2005 1:06:10 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: dangus
Umm... topcat, you do know that the Inquisition was applied to Moslims, don't you?

And Jews and protestants (Waldensians), etc. Lots of folks from all over were painted as heretics over the course of several centuries.

44 posted on 04/14/2005 1:08:20 PM PDT by topcat54
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


45 posted on 04/14/2005 1:12:57 PM PDT by NYer ("America needs much prayer, lest it lose its soul." John Paul II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


46 posted on 04/14/2005 1:13:57 PM PDT by NYer ("America needs much prayer, lest it lose its soul." John Paul II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topcat54
... Yes, but the Inquisition was primarily applied to Moslems. That doesn't mean that there weren't a whole lot of Protestants who faced punishment from civil leaders who were Catholic, but much of what is called "The Inquisition" was not. For instance, although horrific tortures were legendary, the Inquisition required that a prisoner be tortured at most once, and for no more than fifteen minutes.
47 posted on 04/14/2005 1:18:26 PM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480; Paul Atreides
See also a PREVIOUS thread about this movie:
Muslim Scholars Denounce Upcoming 'Kingdom of Heaven' (poor babies)
  Posted by Paul Atreides
On News/Activism 08/12/2004 1:13:08 PM PDT · 37 replies · 992+ views


IMDb.com ^ | 8-12-04

48 posted on 04/14/2005 1:18:26 PM PDT by RonDog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

I can't say that I am really surprised. Here is yet another movie that I will be sure to miss.

I saw this movie advertised on TV and, for a nanosecond I was interested, but then I figured they would lie about it.


49 posted on 04/14/2005 1:20:53 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Never again trust Democrats with national security!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bigg Red

See my other comments on my thread. I'm sort of "pulling a Kerry" on it. ;-)


50 posted on 04/14/2005 1:21:43 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-79 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson