I couldn’t find this clip except with Greek subtitles… go figure! Thankfully the audio is in English.
First… the kids were here over the Holiday weekend, and after watching the “Pink Panther”, which they both loved (I can’t believe that I found something that they both enjoy, together!), J-J decided to head for bed. D looked over at me and asked “do you still have ‘Kingdom of Heaven’?” I smiled, “Oh yeah!”. So we immediately popped it in, and settled down. J-J snuck back out about 10 minutes later, “I can’t sleep.” Too much excitement? Caffeine? I think I’ve figured out that when she’s here, she just doesn’t want to miss out on anything if anyone’s still up, even it’s a yucky old “boy movie”. So she lays on the floor, listening to her iPod, one eye on “the boys”.
Kingdom of Heaven is a great movie, from my perspective anyway. But the reasons are not so much the great battle scenes, or the romance, or the mystery of the time. It’s in the exchanges between several men. And in the honor by which Balian refuses to take the Kingdom through the ways of men, and finally wins the heart of his love. The exchange in the video clip between Balian and the Hospitaller really sums up my personal theology, what I perceive to be true religion as well. Obviously there’s a bit more to it than that, but it’s really just about that simple. And yet still easy enough to fumble ;>) The Hospitaller is my favorite character. Only mildly interested in the politics and religious power struggles going on around him, he seems to walk lightly through all of the heavy wreckage that lay about. He seems to be the one man who truly understands the full scope of what is going on, and because of that is not swept up in the drama of it all. Humble man. Truly Holy.
There are other great scenes; when Godfrey knights Balian as he’s dying, gives him his ring and sword, and slaps him. I always see myself and my Dad. Nothing like that ever happened between us, but he did give me something that I treasure. It’s such a powerful scene, I can’t help but think of my Dad when I see it.
Another is when the Hospitaller is riding off to the battle with Salahu’d-Din, and Balian protests that he’s riding off to certain death. Yeah, he knows. Again, just a calm recognition of what everyone else is on the verge of panicking over. Oh, and by the way, “I’ll tell your father what I’ve seen you become.” What a gift. What a friend.
“And what you decide to do every day… you will be a good man. Or not.” He smiles.