Story by: Jack Foley
RIDLEY Scott's Crusades epic, Kingdom of Heaven, will improve
Western understanding of the Muslim world and its beliefs, according
to two of its Arabic actors.
Despite initial fears that the film would reinforce stereotypes,
Syrian actor, Ghassan Massoud, who plays the Muslim leader, Saladin,
insisted that it would actually help to create a wider understanding
of the Muslim world.
While his Egyptian co-star, Khaled el-Nabawy, agreed that the
film served as an invaluable history lesson to modern audiences
that would prove to the world that Muslims are not terrorists.
Kingdom of Heaven, which is released on May 6, depicts a 12th
Century Muslim-Christian battle for Jerusalem during the Third
It stars Orlando Bloom as a common man who finds himself thrust
into a decades-long war.
A stranger in a strange land, he serves a doomed king, falls
in love with an exotic and forbidden queen, and rises to knighthood.
Ultimately, he must protect the people of Jerusalem from overwhelming
forces while striving to keep a fragile peace.
The big-budget epic also stars Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons and
is widely anticipated to be one of the biggest hits of the Summer.
Speaking ahead of the film's launch, however, Massoud claimed
that it also serves as a timely reminder to the US of the benefits
of diplomacy over war in resolving Middle East crises.
Commenting on his character, he said: "Saladin fights battles,
but he also enters into dialogue. We want to show that dialogue
can be much better than war.
"Today, America has overwhelming force but it is as if they
don't want to build a dialogue."
Khaled el-Nabawy, meanwhile, said that early word on the movie
had been widely-misrepresented, given that 'we have Christians
who think this movie is pro-Muslim and Muslims who think that
this movie is pro-Christian'.
He predicted: "It will make both go and see the movie, which
is positive for improving understanding. It's time for the West
to know more about us.
"We are not terrorists. We are very civilised and our history
is a witness to this."
Kingdom of Heaven trailer
and film clips:
High | Real™
Medium l Real™
High l Windows™
Medium l Windows™
Film clips (all in Windows™):
A New World:
Balian Leads Men Into Battle
I Am Unpredictable
No Need of a Perfect Knight
Rise a Knight
Speech to Jerusalem
The Blade Isn't the Only Part of the Sword