spacetime coordinate: 1184 France, the Holy Land
The story is set during the Crusades of the 12th century. A French village blacksmith goes to aid the Kingdom of Jerusalem in its defence against the Ayyubid Muslim sultan Saladin, who is battling to claim the city from the Christians leading to the Battle of Hattin. The film script is a heavily fictionalised portrayal of the life of Balian of Ibelin (ca. 1143–93).