In a series of programs titled ‘Cinema VS History’, hosted by ifilm, Iran veteran historian Khosrow Motazed sheds light on the reality behind anti-Iran and anti-Islam films produced by Hollywood.
He said the director of the movie has used historical documents to depict the events of the movie but, in fact, he has tried to create a harsh picture of Muslims and Saladin.
In some scenes, Saladin, who was a very kind and gracious man, is introduced as a cruel commander and brutal killer.
Directed by Ridley Scott, ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is based on a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims, known as Crusades.
The screenplay is a heavily fictionalized portrayal of the life of Balian of Ibelin, the commander of Christian forces in Jerusalem.
Balian of Ibelin is defeated by an Ayyubid Muslim Sultan and the commander of Muslim Army, Saladin.
The Muslim Army surrounds the city and Balian of Ibelin accepts to end the battle and makes peace with Saladin.
In the time since the film's release, scholars have offered analysis and criticisms through a lens situating ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ within the context of contemporary international events and religious conflicts.
Academic critics have focused on the supposed peaceful relationship between Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem and other cities depicted.
For instance, Thomas F. Madden, Director of Saint Louis University's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, criticized the film's presentation of the Crusades, saying, “Given events in the modern world it is lamentable that there is so large a gulf between what professional historians know about the Crusades and what the general population believes. This movie only widens that gulf. The shame of it is that dozens of distinguished historians across the globe would have been only too happy to help Scott and Monahan get it right.”