Crusades: Hollywood vs. History
by Vince Ryan   05/28/05

The recent release of Twentieth Century Fox’s $130 million dollar epic Kingdom of Heaven has increased an already heightened interest in the medieval Crusades. 

The director, three time Academy Award nominee Ridley Scott, has been pontificating about the Crusades not only in the film itself but also during the media promotion he has done for the movie.

Scott is eager to tout all the research and historical detail in Kingdom of Heaven. However, when challenged about the various inaccuracies (and they are numerous), he is quick to intone, “I’m a moviemaker, not a documentarian. I try to hit the truth.” At other times he has defended himself by assuredly claiming, “I don’t think anyone historically, really, except historians, cares” or sarcastically responding, “Every historian is an expert.”

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