Anthony Loewstedt

Selling colonialism

Kingdom of Heaven, directed by Sir Ridley Scott and starring Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, has now been released on DVD (20th Century Fox). Watching this Hollywood extravaganza is like seeing the current Iraq war through the eyes of an American soldier, or a portrait of apartheid from the point of view of a rich white South African farmer, or a depiction of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank from the perspective of a Jewish settler. It is also like the foreign news in the quality U.S. and British news media today: no direct or conscious lies, but extremely one-sided. In end effect, it has all the historicity of an early cowboys-and-Indians-movie or Birth of a Nation, the infamous 1916 film that sympathizes with the Ku Klux Klan.