Episode 58: Kingdom of Heaven

Episode 58: Kingdom of Heaven. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Orlando Bloom, this story of a young Crusader trying to come to terms with religion, guilt and knightly aspirations promises much with some great cinematography, detailed battle scenes, a love interest plus court intrigue as our hero discovers that supposed friends can be a lot more scheming and devious than your supposed enemies. Our interest is in both the entertainment value of the movie and its historical accuracy as we attempt to sort myth from truth, Hollywood hype from gritty reality. More popular with audiences than critics, the version we are examining is the theatrical release one; there is a director’s cut which is said to be more coherent so if that’s the one you’ve seen, good choice and sorry if we don’t mention the extra bits. We hope you enjoy.

Ibelin, Balian’s castle and farm
The crusader army’s route of advance towards Hattin
The view from the slopes of Hattin towards Tiberias (which lies just beyond the labelled town of Kfar Hitim) and the Sea of Galilee. The red marker is on the summit of the hill at Hattin where the last Crusaders surrendered.
Krak des Chevaliers (not to be confused with Kerak, the fortress held by Reynald de Chattilon) was a powerful castle and the main base of the Knights Hospitaller. It is incredibly well preserved and was never taken by force. Although not mentioned in the movie, it’s well worth a look.

Anuj Agarwal’s blog Hollywood Podcasts link:


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Author: History by Hollywood

A podcast series examining the real events and people behind fact-based movies

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