What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has several one-on-one fight scenes, as well as extreme and explicit battle violence, including sword-fighting, head-chopping, limbs-lopping, impaling, fiery catapults firing, buildings and bodies burning, and blood spurting. The film includes a euphemistic reference to the fact that the hero's father raped his mother (he says, "I knew your mother. To be courteous, I should say it was against her objections"), and various references to the Crusades (battles fought, warriors lost), as a backdrop for the hero's noble cause (he wants to bring Muslims and Christians together, contrary to the desires of all devout folks on all sides). Characters drink wine in goblets. The film includes a romance between the hero and the good king's sultry sister, who is also married to the bad king (this relationship leads to a passionate kiss that fades out before explicit sex). The leprous good king wears a silver mask throughout the film; after his death, the mask is removed to reveal his diseased, caved-in face (an image that might alarm some younger viewers).
- Families can talk about the film's representation of Muslims (those with speaking parts are virtuous, but those who serve as anonymous invaders of Jerusalem are shown to be barbarous and/or hacked up).
- . Families might also talk about the ugly legacy of the Crusades, andthe trivialization of the subject matter here.
- How does the movie show Balian'scourage as an effort to protect a population, compared to thevainglorious ambitions of Guy and Reynald?
- How is Balian's friendshipwith Nasir a model for reaching across cultures to make peace?