Friday, May 13, 2005

View From a Height- Review of Kingdom of Heaven

View From a Height: "In any hands other than Scott's, this movie would have come out as disdain for religious belief. In Scott's hands, it merely warns of the need to rely on God, but keep military necessities in mind, too. It's not critical of religious belief as such, or even as the motivation for action. But it does seem to put a little too much of the blame on the Christians: Guy and Reynaud may have lit the match, but the wood had been drying out for a while. And Saladin really did want the city.

To the extent that the film fails in its big ideas, it's in the conflation of tolerance with truce. Historically, both sides were forced by the other to tolerate. (The Third Crusade, usually presented as a failure, did restore the rights of Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem.) But both sides were also willing to kill and die in large numbers to be the tolerators rather than the tolerated."

I want to see it.

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