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Author Topic: Crusades Film Attacked for Portrayal of Arabs
al-Qa'bong
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posted 19 January 2004 05:33 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sir Ridley Scott, the Oscar-nominated director, was savaged by senior British academics on Saturday over his forthcoming film which they say distorts the history of the Crusades to portray Arabs in a favourable light.

We can't have that now, can we?

quote:

"They refer to The Talisman, which depicts the Muslims as sophisticated and civilised, and the Crusaders are all brutes and barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality."

He [Professor Riley-Smith, of Cambridge University] added that Sir Ridley's efforts were misguided and pandered to Islamic fundamentalism.

Amin Maalouf, the French historian and author of The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, said: "Cruelty was not on one side but on all."


Maalouf is Lebanese, and he writes in French.

CBC has archived The Crusades: an Arab View, which supports Maalouf's position.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 19 January 2004 06:14 PM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:

We can't have that now, can we?


No, its okay to have that. As long as Europe is portrayed as a cultural wasteland that breeds nothing but raping and pillaging barbarians, the movie is accurate.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 19 January 2004 06:31 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Don't stop at raping and pillaging Gir, you left out cannibalism:

quote:
Côté chrétien Raoul de Caen écrit qu'à Maara (ville syrienne désarmée) "les nôtres faisaient bouillir des païens adultes dans les marmites, ils fixaient les enfants sur des broches et les dévoraient grillés...".

Trans. 'In Maara our people cooked the adult pagans in boilers, put the children onto spits and ate them roasted.'

Allez-y

[ 19 January 2004: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


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arborman
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posted 19 January 2004 06:36 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
By most measures, Arab civilization was well ahead of Eurpoean, at the time.

Why is that even dusputed? They had cities of a hundred thousand, Europe had cities of ten thousand. They had literacy, Europe didn't, for the most part.

Why the cultural insecurity? So what, it was 1000 years ago. The Chinese left both civilizations in the dust, relatively speaking. The Mayans weren't doing too badly either.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
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posted 19 January 2004 06:45 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, well, except for the human sacrifice. But you can't have everything, right?
From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 19 January 2004 07:16 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Don't stop at raping and pillaging Gir, you left out cannibalism:

What? I thought that was just a German thing.

or.

A German's thing?


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Michelle
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posted 19 January 2004 07:23 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh yes. The family recipes my Oma passed down would curl your hair!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 19 January 2004 07:35 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Your family cooked hair curlers? What kind of tenderizers do you use?
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Milo_Hayes
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posted 19 January 2004 08:01 PM      Profile for Milo_Hayes        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We can't have distortion now, can we?
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Milo_Hayes
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posted 19 January 2004 08:05 PM      Profile for Milo_Hayes        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In the fourteenth century, Europe lost two thirds of it's population. Plague, wars and general collapse led to what? The Enlightenment? Are we just fighting on old battlefields?
From: Blueberry hill | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 19 January 2004 08:27 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jacob Two-Two:
Yeah, well, except for the human sacrifice. But you can't have everything, right?

They weren't the only ones. Invading foreign lands for the glory of your god is a form of human sacrifice, wouldn't you say? Generally trying to sacrifice the other humans (not yours) of course.

I refer to both Islam and Christianity in the period. The Crusades were a response to a rapid expansion of Islam (through invasion and occupation). We can sit here and make judgements about either side (or both) but getting offended at the idea that Arabs in the period were more civilized is just silly. They were (inasmuch as there is any measure of 'civilization' that we could ever possibly agree upon).


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 19 January 2004 09:40 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
In the fourteenth century, Europe lost two thirds of it's population. Plague, wars and general collapse led to what? The Enlightenment?

Yeah, shucks, and it only took 400 years.

Chevalier, Mult Estes Guariz

quote:
Give knights, your souls to heaven's work
since God has raised a great clamor.
The Amoraviz and evil Turks
have done Him great dishonor.
His fiefs they've taken by the sword, and this great pain must grieve Him sore.
'Twas there that He first was served, and recognized as God and Lord.

chorus:
Who follows the way of King Louis,
shall never fear the fires of hell;
redeemed his soul with speed shall flee
to paradise with God's angels.


What, no 72 virgins?

[ 20 January 2004: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 20 January 2004 05:23 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I guess it all comes down to what one considers civilized behavior to be.

We could measure it in baths per week, and I think the Arabs of the Crusades probably had us Europeans beat.

As did most of the primate world.....

It's a frickin' movie, not a documentary.


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Catus
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posted 20 January 2004 06:22 PM      Profile for Catus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Crusades were not all happiness and sunshine from either side. In any case I think I would reserve my judgement for the movie until after I see it.
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al-Qa'bong
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posted 23 January 2004 01:11 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Prudent response, Catus, and one which Riley-Smith ought to consider, especially as the film's creators have barely started shooting.
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BleedingHeart
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posted 23 January 2004 10:19 PM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Most of the sources I have read suggest the Arabs were fairly decent during the Crusades including treating prisoners relatively compassionately except in retaliation for Crusader atrocities. They also allowed Christians and Jews to practise their religion freely, as opposed to the Crusaders who massacred Jews (and lots of Christians as well) as they travelled on their way to the Crusades.
From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 23 June 2005 01:46 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I finally saw Kingdom of Heaven last night.

There were a few historical inaccuracies, but overall the film was a reasonable representation of what happened around the time of the Battle of Hittin.

Guy de Lusignan and Raynald de Chatillon were portrayed as bloodthirsty warmongers...but then again, they were bloodthirsty warmongers.

The characterization of Balian d'Ibelin wasn't terribly accurate historically, but he was presented as a model of chivalry - a verray, parfait, gentil knyght.

The Arab characters, as is usual in film, weren't fully developed. Few of them had any dialogue; most were faceless warriors. That said, Salah ad-Din was given dialogue that he is reported to have actually said, and was portrayed much as he is in the hisorical record - an intelligent, fierce, yet honourable soldier who would rather find a path to peace than a way to kill.

I can't think of a better film to have hit the screens these days than Kingdom of Heaven. Yes, Arabs were portrayed as decent, civilized people, but why should they be depicted otherwise?

I just wish I had seen the film in a Beirut cinema:

quote:
...at the end of the film, after Balian has surrendered Jerusalem, Saladin enters the city and finds a crucifix lying on the floor of a church, knocked off the altar during the three-day siege. And he carefully picks up the cross and places it reverently back on the altar. And at this point the audience rose to their feet and clapped and shouted their appreciation. They loved that gesture of honour. They wanted Islam to be merciful as well as strong. And they roared their approval above the soundtrack of the film.

[ 23 June 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged

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