Kingdom of Heaven and its ideological message

Yiou Liu


As a Crusades epic, the film Kingdom of Heaven revives the 12th century history in the critical city of Jerusalem. The story surrounds a French blacksmith Balian who defends Jerusalem and contends with the Islamic leader Saladin who attempts to seize back the holy city from the Christians. Through the special themes in region, religion and war, Kingdom of Heaven seems to indicate the conflicts between the East and the West. Furthermore, the outbreaks of 9/11 and the Iraq War definitely make this film’s release more controversial. Kingdom of Heaven, being a film, an essential medium of mass communication, the style in which it expresses its story and ideology is worth considering in depth. By exploring this Hollywood film which lacks of the typical Hollywood style, this paper discusses the significance in making Kingdom of Heaven in the wake of 9/11 and how the critical debate surrounding the film is a reflection of contemporary ideologies.


Kingdom of Heaven, Crusades, religion, orientalism, ideology

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