The Necessity of Permanent Criticism: A Postcolonial Critique of Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven

This article conducts a postcolonial critique of the crusader film Kingdom of Heaven (2005). The article shows that although reviewers praised the film for its message of tolerance, this movie actually embodies forms of neocolonial and Orientalist discourse. This article demonstrates the necessity o...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of media and religion
Main Author: Schlimm, Matthew Richard
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group [2010]
In:Journal of media and religion
Year: 2010, Volume: 9, Issue: 3, Pages: 129-149
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
Description
Summary:This article conducts a postcolonial critique of the crusader film Kingdom of Heaven (2005). The article shows that although reviewers praised the film for its message of tolerance, this movie actually embodies forms of neocolonial and Orientalist discourse. This article demonstrates the necessity of what Raymie McKerrow and Michel Foucault call "permanent criticism," that is, exposing how apparently liberating rhetoric can also serve oppressive ends. It also joins previous critics such as Robert Ivie in examining the forces that convince societies of war's necessity. It gives particular attention to how this film joined broader societal discourses urging Western military involvement in the Middle East. Finally, this article demonstrates how Orientalist discourse has adapted to changes in the contemporary religious landscape, continuing to marginalize Islam, even in an environment where Christianity has partially lost its hegemony. The film transforms Saladin—a highly feared Muslim warrior—into a spokesperson for post-Christian values.
ISSN:1534-8415
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of media and religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/15348423.2010.500967