Saturday, July 31, 2010

Social Studies: Movie Review (The Kingdom of Heaven)

  • ·         Give a brief introduction of how the conflict started.
  • ·         Name the type of conflict shown in this movie and elaborate on it.
  • ·         Identify three characters and describe the conflict they faced (interpersonal/intrapersonal conflict).

The Kingdom of Heaven

The movie Kingdom of Heaven is mainly talking about Balian (Orlando Bloom) who is a French blacksmith that received an offer by a crusader Lord Godfrey to be a crusader. Lord Godfrey reveals that he is actually Balian’s father and at that time Balian has just lost his whole family because his wife committed suicide as they have lost their child. He finally accepts the offer after a local priest forced him to accept the offer. At that period of time, the Crusades were in collision with the Muslims for over 200 years during the Middle Ages.

The movie is actually about conflicts between religious misunderstandings and different beliefs among the Muslims and the Crusaders. Crusaders are the people involved in the Crusades (wars between the European Christian and the Muslims in Palestine). The conflict started when the Muslims have been receiving negative impressions by the Crusader such as being the competition for the Crusaders. This is due to the stereotype about the Muslims and Islam used to rally the Crusaders. All these led to a major war between this two and caused many lost of lives to the family and the community.

This conflict is the same with what is happening to the world nowadays. In United States of America, there are certain people who stereotype the Muslims in their community. They have been receiving bad treatments by some of the people who are still paranoid with the presence of Muslim and Islam there. There are cases where the Muslims were called as ‘terrorist’ just because they have long beard and wear outfits like the people in Afghanistan and Iraq. This has been a major problem faced by the Muslims after “September 11” incidents that shook the whole world. After US government has decided to fight terrorism, many of their citizens associate Muslims as terrorist based on previous records of bombing cases in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is what we call inter-religion conflict and that was being highlighted in the movie.

In the movie, the main character, Balian faces a serious intrapersonal conflict when his wife died. He has lost his faith because he loves his wife so much and her absence really has made his life turn into darkness. He tried very hard to regain the light if his life although his wife has already been dead. Besides, he also faces interpersonal conflict when he was asked to accept the offer to become the Crusader. He at first rejected the offer but was forced to accept the offer by the priest so this shows that Balian faces conflict within himself.

The second most important character in the movie is Balian’s father, Godfrey of lbein. He faces interpersonal conflict when he tried his best to persuade his son to join the Crusaders. In addition, he also needs to convince Balian that he is his father because he had left his son a long time ago. It was hard because Balian did not want to believe him at first but his effort is worthy after a while. When Godfrey passes his sword to his son as a symbolic that he is going to die, he also passes on that sacred oath: to protect the helpless, safeguard the peace, and work toward harmony between religions and cultures, so that a kingdom of heaven can flourish on earth.

In the movie, the King which is King Baldwin suffers from a skin disease called “leprosy” that causes painful white areas on the skin and can destroy nerves and flesh. To cover his ugly face, he needs to wear a mask because he was scared that someone might get infected and he was also ashamed of his own skin and health condition. At the end of the movie, we can see his horrible face at the day of his funeral and we can feel how the king has a very low self-esteem in his life before.

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