Saw the movie on Monday night in THX cinema in Summit GSC. Apparently , i was duped to watch another Orlando Bloom's chick flick but came out satisfied. He is better as Legolas than a adrenaline fuelled leader in a was movie. haha . A satisfactory performance , albeit Eric Bana or Russel Crowe would command more presence.
This is the story about the crusade . Set in the year 1184, the Muslim civilization was much more developed than the 'barbaric' Europe where gangs and vassals roam the land ... in addition to Kings. It is also good to read a bit on the history before attempting this show because not all that is shown is true.
Balian , the Bloomed hero is respected during that time. But he actually did not defend Jerusalem as depicted in the movie. He had an agreement with Saladin to transit for one day only. Anyway , King Baldwin is supposed to be dead one year before this.
Though it is supposed to be a 11-13 century epic movie , some of the thinking were obviously current. In one scene where Godfrey was dying and was asked whether he repented, he said that he repented of all sins except one . Another scene where the priest stated that he has no faith. I agree on a writting that argues that people of this time would treat religion and the matter of death / hell with fear.
And how many Arabs / French / Italian was able to speak good English? Saladin's speech is better in Arabic or Kurdish of whom his lineage is.
This is not a show to watch if you are rooting for your own religion . Being a Christian , I am humbled again by learning from history . We must be able to learn from history to not make mistakes in the future.
Here , we learn about the distinction of people of Christian faith and Christian 'business'. People who used religion as the source of their own enrichment and wealth. It is troubling to see the similarity of people then and now when the used God as the reason for their own agenda. "It is God's will" were the war cries, but which 'God' ?
And to use " It is God's will" as an authoritative request and to end conversations.
Another key learning is the different approach between the Christians living together with other religion in Jerusalem and the newly arrived Crusade Christians. The conflict did happen in history where one side is bend on killing the 'infidels' and the other to avoid conflict. How true again where 'Christians' agree to the killing of others in the furtherance of their 'own domain'. We have George Bush , Tony Blair and John Howard etc. making big noises as western politicians ( dun think that we have a God fearing country nowadays ) with some claiming even divine agreement in the war in Iraq. Even churches came in to support the war. Dun they know that supporting war is to agree on the killings. The killings in Iraq are unjust and marginalized even the Chaldeans.
Thirdly , the bending of doctines to suit their own needs . Here , Catholic church of that day is wrong to came out with the doctrine that "those who get killed during the crusade will go to heaven" and justification of killing of other people. There is no such teaching in Christian doctrine.
Fourth , we see the liberal interpretation and action by the clergy movements with even some resorting to crime. Remember Eli, the high priest of the temple - was passed over due to the conduct of his sons. For God is also a God of wrath , who can't stand sin.
This also showcases how much leaders use their own judgement without even putting God into the picture. Whether it is in reckless killing or strategy. Here , i think the movie was too gracious to the Christians where they were potrayed to enforce a true with Saladin . In reality , after their army was massacred in the battle of Tiff , the Saladin forces went down to coastal Christian towns to conquer them , except Tyre. From there , the came back to Jerusalem to lay siege. Overwhelmed during the siege, they managed to get the agreement from Saladin by seeking to kill all the inhabitants of Jerusalem if not given a safe passage. Saladin was a man of mercy , and he agreed.
It is good that nowadays , we have the bible as the guide for our teaching. The limitation of people at this time is that they have a lot of enthusiasm , but bible is in the control of the few who may not even understand it. (church ) . Our life and conduct shoud be representative by what God's command are.
" Love your neighbour as yourself". "You reap what you sow ".
May we be humbled even by this learning .