'The Kingdom of Heaven' - Kevin Dolan

Our current understanding of the Crusades comes to us through the filters of 18th century enlightenment which re-interpreted history with an anti-catholic bias in its great propoganda war against the Catholic Church. It is in this tradition that we can best understand Ridley Scott's film 'Kingdom of Heaven'.

Right from the start Scott is keen to show the Catholic religion in a bad light. It's shown as insensitive and grotesque in its treatment of Balian's (Orlando Bloom) dead wife and its priests encourage the massacre of non-believers. Later on in the film, Tiberius (Jeremy Irons), the head of the army in Jerusalem, accuses the Pope of encouraging The Knights Templar in murderous acts against Arabs, fomenting religious hatred and upsetting the peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Christians.

(to be continued...)