paper - 1 DO NOT GRADE THIS 2 History of Judaism,...

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History of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam 26 April 2006 Kingdom of Heaven: Butchered History but Contemporary Beliefs Twelth century Europe was a land devastated by repression and poverty. The offer of salvation and fortune in the Holy Land was enough to convince many peasants, knights, and lords to participate in the holy crusade to save Jerusalem from the Muslim infidels. Such is the story of Balian, a blacksmith in medieval France. After killing a priest, Balian decides that his only opportunity to save both himself and his suicidal wife from an eternity of damnation is to join his father, Sir Godfrey, in his return to Jerusalem. After many perilous obstacles, Balian champions the inhabitants of Jerusalem while individually saving the city from complete annihilation at the hands of Saladin. Balian’s heroic defense of the city and agreement of terms with Saladin allowed for him to return to his home in France with his own queen, heroism, and dignity. The brevity of this summary is in part to portray the highlights of the film, but also to act as a metaphor for the film itself seeing as the actual movie was loaded with historical inaccuracies and modern twists. Nationally, the film grossed just over fourty-seven million dollars with a budget of over one hundred thirty million. This box office failure could be a direct result of our nation’s receding tolerance for epic dramas seeing as Kingdom of Heaven followed the successes of Troy, Alexander, and King Arthur, but it could be for deeper reasons as well. The movie’s purpose is to show that if crusaders fighting a holy war could live in peace in Jerusalem, why is it so impossible for today’s various religions to coexist in the 2
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Middle East in peace. The only problem with this purpose is that there was not true peace in the time of the crusades and the movies historical accuracy is mediocre at best. The most accurately portrayed of all the movie’s leaders is Saladin, the enemy of the crusaders. He was the enemy, but he was portrayed as compassionate and wise, two things that may be surprising to many of today’s individuals. In a post 9/11 America, many people in this country had very negative views towards Islam and its worshippers. It may have been to early to portray a Muslim leader as a hero because many Americans were not ready to accept the civility of the religion and its people. This could have contributed to the film’s box office flop nationally, especially since it was such a success overseas. Grossing over one hundred sixty million dollars in the international market,
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paper - 1 DO NOT GRADE THIS 2 History of Judaism,...

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