Thursday, May 05, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

I have been hearing a lot of bad press from St. Blog's parishioners about Ridley Scott's new film Kingdom of Heaven. The most frequent complaint is that all of the Christian clerics are bad guys, none of the Muslims are, and it's a revisionist history of The Crusades.

I was sure I didn't want to see it. Then I read Sr. Rose Pacatte's review. Sr. Rose is my mentor in media literacy, she is a Daughter of St. Paul who currently is Director of the Center for Media Studies in Los Angeles. Two bits from Sr. Rose's review in particularly intrigued me:
The question of the meaning of Jerusalem in history, as a holy place and as a symbol, is the climax of the film. At the end, as these two men of conscience gaze up at Jerusalem, Balian asks Saladin, “What does it mean to you?” Saladin starts to walk away and replies, “Nothing”. Then he turns back and says, “Everything.”
Pope John Paul II offered what could be a commentary on a film like Kingdom of Heaven when he spoke in Syria in May, 2001, “Today, in a world that is increasingly complex and interdependent, there is a need for a new spirit of dialogue and cooperation between Muslims and Christians. Together we acknowledge the one indivisible God, the Creator of all that exists. Together we must proclaim to the world that the name of the one God is a name of peace and a summons to peace.”
I intend to see the film now. Thanks, Sr. Rose.

Read the full review here.

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