MVST 4005-kingdom of heaven

Opposing groups are clearly distinguished as muslims

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opposing groups are clearly distinguished as Muslims and Christians, the things that really make these two groups different (differing religious beliefs and customs, etc.) are anything but emphasized in the film. It is not clear at all exactly what Jerusalem means to either side; the film almost gives an uninformed audience the idea that the conflict that had been going on between the Muslims and the Christians was based solely on conquest- for the sake of acquiring and/or keeping more land. The few scenes that did touch upon differences between the two groups (scenes of Muslims praying in a certain direction- towards Mecca, for example), tended to do so very fleetingly- they were only mentioned during those scenes for a small period of time. I don’t even recall seeing any notable churches, or any other buildings of worship for that matter, in the film; even when Godfrey anoints Balian as his successor, this was done in a place of residence.
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All in all, we get a sense of cultural difference between the groups, but no considerable sense of religious difference; religious difference should in fact take precedence over the cultural if the film is to better capture the essence of the crusade. The plot of the film focuses on the protagonist’s own reasons for heading to Jerusalem. Balian initially left his home to seek forgiveness and salvation for himself and his wife, who committed suicide. Thus, technically, his intentions for going did not meet all the conditions of “just war.” This intention was very apparent to those (his father and his father’s men) that
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