History In Movie “Kingdom Of Heaven” Essays Examples
The movie is showing us the period of Crusades, actually the time between second and third Crusade, late XII century. Balian, a main character, is very depressed because of the suicide of his beloved wife and unborn kid. Later on a group of Crusaders came to the village and one of them, Baron Godfrey of Ibelin Castle, announce himself as Balian’s father and asking him to join Crusaders and go to Holy Land. Firstly, Balian refuses this offer, but after killing the priest he leaves the village for Jerusalem to find forgiveness for his wife and himself.
There Balian becomes a guard of helpless King of Jerusalem. Baldwin IV then asked Balian to marry his sister Sybilla to take control over the army, but he denied this proposal as it will cause the execution of Guy de Lusignan, Sybilla’s future husband. Unfortunately, de Lusignan supports the whole idea of Crusades, so then, right after Baldwin’s death and becoming the new King of Jerusalem, he made Raynald, his loyal ally, to provoke a war between Saladin, sultan of Muslims, and Templars by killing Saladin’s sister.
Thus new King with his army left Jerusalem for the fight with Saladin’s army instead of staying behind the cities walls, as Balian has advised. In desert Muslim’s army has easily defeated Christians and forwarded to Jerusalem. At this high point Balian showed his faith and willpower staying for defending the city as promised!
Moving to Jerusalem it is described paradox of that times as the Balian’s ship have faced the storm, cruelty, but he survived and was the only one who did, luckiness. Movie is accurately describing the people traditions and habits, such as dedication of the Knights, martial trophies as well as cities lifestyle. Middle Age society had no idea about rights and responsibility equality. Usually, this society has been divided into three groups: “those, who pray”, “those, who fight” and “those who work”. On the other hand, Jerusalem and Holy Land at all is meant to be a new world with a lot of opportunities, as baron Godfrey says: “A man who, in France, had not a house, is, in the Holy Land, the master of the city” (Kingdom of Heaven 2005). This is just proved after Balian arrives to Jerusalem and releases his Muslim prisoner. The one was very surprised and told Balian one of the main phrases of the movie: “Your quality will be known among the enemies, before ever you meet them, my friend” (Kingdom of Heaven 2005).
All in all, the movie is quite accurate while describing actual history events. Still, there are some omissions. First of all, Baldwin IV’s leprosy was discovered by William of Tyre, but not by baron Godfrey the Senior, as King Baldwin IV told to Balian while their first meeting. Secondly, Baldwin V, Sybilla’s son after her first marriage with William of Montferrat, was ruling the Jerusalem for almost four years after he was discovered to have a leprosy as well as his uncle. At last, but not the least, the Guy de Lusignan’s coronation was much more of shock, rather than shown in the movie, as after death of nine-year old Baldwin V he siege the city demanding to be crowned. Also, Sybilla was forced to give Guy the divorce before coronation with permission to choose the new husband by her own.
Connecting everything mentioned above, the movie is easy to understand what actually happened in the Holy Land almost thousand years ago. Making accents on the main figures and events it is very understandable for the great mass even without any historical background and, what is very important, has no much excurses from the real history of this time period and it’s major themes and characters.
While watching this movie with a huge historical background, the least you can say is that scenery is adopted very well. Making accents on main events they did not forget to show a lot of different details, as they are very important. For example it was shown that political disagreement, backstage games and desire to own Holy Land what was actually the main reason of Crusades. After you finish watching “Kingdom of Heaven” the first connection you may see is to the Third Crusade that had started in 1187 under of leadership of King Richard I (Lionheart) of England, Frederick I Holy Roman Emperor of Germany and Philip II of France, and the failure to return Jerusalem back of this campaign as well. The only actual achievement of the Third Crusade was a free entry to Jerusalem for unarmed merchants and other Christian pilgrims according to the King Richard – Sultan Saladin agreement.
Kingdom Of Heaven. 2005. Film. United Kingdom: Ridley Scott.