02 December 2005

The King of Jerusalem was a Leper

Kingdom of Heaven, 5 out of 5 bricks rating.

this is an old movie, but the topic keeps coming up.

Quotes from the movie:

King Baldwin IV:
Come forward. I am glad to meet Godfrey's son. He was one of my greatest teachers. He was there when, playing with the other boys, my arm was cut. It was he, not my father's physicians who noticed that I felt no pain. He wept when he gave my father the news, that I am a leper. The Saracins' say that this disease is God's vengence against the vanity of our kingdom. As wretched as I am, these Arabs believe that the chastisement that awaits me in hell is far more severe and lasting. If that's true, I call it unfair. Come. Sit. When I was sixteen I won a great victory. I felt in that moment that I should live to be one hundred, now I know I shall not see thirty. You see, none of us chose our end really. A king may move a man, a father may claim a son. But remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God you cannot say "but I was told by others to do thus" or that "virtue was not convenient at the time. This will not suffice. Remember that.

Balian of Ibelin: I will.

King Baldwin IV: Then go now to your father's house at Iblen, and from there protect the pilgim road. Protect the helpless. And then perhaps one day when I am helpless you will come and protect me.

Balian’s motto is, “What man is a man who does not leave the world better?”

His oath as a knight is to “be brave that God may help thee, speak the truth even if it leads to death, and safeguard the helpless.”

Godfrey tells his son, “You are not what you were born, but what you have it in yourself to be.”
  • Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
  • Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
  • Speak the truth, always, even if it leads to your death.
  • Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
That is your oath. [SLAP] And that's so you remember it.

Photo shows the mask Baldwin wore so that others could talk with him and not have to see and smell the revulsive face he had from the leprsoy.
How did King Baldwin not hate the Lord? He had the worst human indignity of all cursed upon him, leprosy. Yet he obeyed God, in his heart, even more important than his deeds.

My friends mock me because I like this movie so much, because I practically rant about it whenever the subject of it comes up. Chivalry that sounds good in speeches, or that gets you into the princess's pants is easy. Chivalry that puts you on the crossroads making decisions, that's hard. The chivalry in this movie isnt some pretty Kevin-Costner type of white wash. Day after day chivalry is a daunting task, and not easily approached without some sort of grace to make you capable. One of the great saints of all time was John the Baptist. Of him Jesus said none other greater shall come. Of himself John said he wouldnt even be worthy to tie up Jesus' sandal laces. Who was right? John went to jail and died for what he believed in.


Ken said...

You don't get to use bricks...
You have to use cinderblocks or 2x4s or something....

Like 1 gallon cans of Monarch 33% Fancy Tomato Paste!

Dixie Cups...

squirrel-nut-zippers perhaps...

Cool Review, I'll have to see it now.

Roy said...

I know you like this movie, but do you like it because of its' Christian overtones and/or outside them?

I've heard a number of comments regarding this movie, and most revolved completely around the religious content, as opposed to the actual film. I'm interested in the movie (it looks like a cool period piece, and said period is one I'm probably going to run shortly). But I don't want to waste my time on a film that's whole purpose is dogmatic vehicle.

I don't say that because I'm anti-dogma, simply that dogma, on its' own, will not satisfy my tastes. Your thoughts, Ell-man?

Egyptoid said...

it isnt a missionary film, really.

King Baldwin at one point says "I am Jerusalem" and its the truth, he bears the responsibility to guide the city.

This other baron, a real prick, at one point also says "I am Jerusalem" and its neither true in spirit or in law.

The hero of the story could have at several points said that he was Jerusalem, and it coulda shoulda would have been true, from a certain point of view. Yet he chose not to claim it. He just did his duty.

All sorts of people, good bad and ugly, wear christian symbols during the movie. You are left to decide for yourself which ones are the "real" christians. Just like real life.

Roy said...

How worthwile is it from the standpoint of giving good, inspiring source for a 4th/5th Crusade setting?

Roy said...

Thanks for the follow-up chat on this today. I'll rent it. Perhaps my PC's may see an appearance of the Leper King of Jerusalem.