GOD WILLS IT. GODFREY OF BOUILLON AND THE FIRST CRUSADE

DIEU LE VEUT. GODEFROID DE BOUILLON ET LA PREMIÈRE CROISADE

By Jacques MARTIN, Nathalie FRITZ

IOTA PRODUCTION - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2011

Who really was Godfrey of Bouillon? This film investigates a European founding myth and a figurehead of Western Christian imagination - a greedy feudal rough-neck soldier, a valiant knight who defended Christianity, the king of Jerusalem. This investigation exposes the myth, gives a fresh view of th

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • BELGIUM
    • Languages
    • FRENCH
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 52 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jacques MARTIN, Nathalie FRITZ
    • Producer(s)
    • Isabelle TRUC (Iota Production), Isabelle MATHY (Perspective Films)
    • Synopsis
    • Who really was Godfrey of Bouillon? This film investigates a European founding myth and a figurehead of Western Christian imagination - a greedy feudal rough-neck soldier, a valiant knight who defended Christianity, the king of Jerusalem. This investigation exposes the myth, gives a fresh view of the story and sheds light on its modern-day issues via a road movie shot from Boulogne to Jerusalem.
      In spring 2005, just like Excalibur, Godfrey of Bouillon’s sword resurfaced in the collective imagination of the Belgians. The Made in Belgium exhibition, a sort of hotchpotch bringing together scraps of the country’s real and mythologized history, proudly stated that it had brought back the crusader’s legendary sword from Jerusalem.
      This meant that Godfrey suddenly emerged from our old history books. A visit to the exhibition showed us that even today the crusades can be described in a completely ethnocentric fashion as a glorious holy war.
      We were aware of the fact that just a few hundred metres from the exhibition and its sanitised description of Godfrey’s crusade there live immigrant Muslim populations whose collective imagination is radically different.
      The collective memory of the Arabs has not forgotten the crusades. We only need to look at the large number of references made to the “crusaders” in Al-Qaida’s rhetoric (which is addressed to these groups, including those who have moved to the West).
      One of the fundamental concepts behind this film is to compare (via various personal accounts) the “memories” kept alive by two civilisations of the same event.
    • Partners & financing
    • Crossroads digital media, Perpective films, ARTE, RTBF, Media Develpment
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