The story deals with the Crusades of the 12th century, and involves an artificer (a military mechanic; French: artificier) and Engineer (that is, someone who makes siege engines), serving as a village blacksmith who goes on to aid the city of Jerusalem in its defense against the great Islamic leader Saladin, who battles to reclaim the city from the Christians. The script is loosely based on the life of Balian of Ibelin (wikipedia.org, 2006)
How the Crusades started were caused by religious, economical and political reasons. The order burning the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by a Fatimid caliph, and the molestation of pilgrims, cruelty of Muslims toward Christians, and following the papal “foreign policy” of expanding Christianity were religious sources of conflict why the Crusades were undertaken.
One of the economical concerns was the overpopulation of Western Europe, consequently having the idea that Eastern Europe would be a new territory to conquer and would provide the necessary resources to provide for Western Europe’s burgeoning population, and politically, the Crusades would pave the way for wider trade.
It would seem that the differences of faith is still one source of conflict today, considering the fact alone that Jerusalem is the central land of worship of different great religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, as of the present time. These different religions with different beliefs, different perspectives, try to assert the claim that Jerusalem, by right, is there own Holy land. They do not know how to share as neighbors. Conflict arises.
The oil-rich Middle East today provides for a backdrop of political and economical maneuverings by different countries, with vested interests of their own, to gain control of this rich region.
The phrase “History repeats itself” is justified.
www.wikipedia.org, 2006 [webpage] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Heaven_%282005_film%29 date accessed: 16 December 2006