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May 10, 2005
Kingdom of Heaven
I think this interview about the film The Kingdom of Heaven is worth the read. I watched the movie, it was acceptable at the matinee price (though the length was a bit much), though the battle scenes weren't as good as what you got at the beginning of Gladiator (Ridley Scott, same schtick). You saw a lot less of Eva Green than in The Dreamers (the link not work safe!).
Also, I would like to pass on this factual tidbit: in 1620 in Haarlem (in The Netherlands) 20% of the population was Reformed, 12.5% Roman Catholic, 14% Baptist, 1% percent Lutheran and 1% were members of the Walloon church. That leaves 52.5% of the population heterodox, or not fully involved in any one church (source: The Reformation by Ulinka Rublack). The CIA Factbook says that today The Netherlands (as a whole) is 31% Roman Catholic, 21% Protestant, Muslim 4.4%, other 3.6%, unaffiliated 40%.
Addendum: On the Ridley Scott film, I would like to offer that of course I find the defeatism of the likes of the director rather repellant and bizarre. But, I don't find it surprising so I wasn't taken aback. My rather mild response to the film was the fact that some of the scenes were executed decently and the historical errors were relatively less egregious than I'd assumed they would be. Additionally, though I don't think that the motivations and worldviews of men 1,000 years ago were unbelievably different from "moderns," neither am I wholly comfortable with the interpretations of the period offered from the Left, Right and Middle and all points orthogonal. Frankly, the high Medieval Period is so richly textured and complex that any assertion is partly correct, the key being the extent and magnitude of the "partly" portion.