I found this documentary very compelling and well done. I particularly liked the actors who they cast in the roles of Saladin and Richard I (the Lionhearted). They looked perfect for their parts. The visuals were beautiful, there were some unnerving make-up (or dummy) special effects, and the narrator was easy to understand.
I disagree with those who thought that the documentary was biased in favor of Richard I. Most of the historical commentators in the documentary were Arabic and greatly favored Saladin's position, and even one of the English commentators said that Saladin was far more noble than Richard; that they came from "different worlds," that Islam is about tolerance, and that Christianity was very intolerant at that period in history, and that Saladin was too noble to comprehend Richard's brand of dirty fighting. They also glossed over the massacre of the survivors of the Battle of Hattin, but gave a fair amount of time to the massacre of the 3000 Muslims of Acre.
From what I have heard of Saladin and Richard, Saladin probably really was more humanistic than Richard, and the Crusades were not the highest point in Christian tolerance (not that it was the high point in Muslim tolerance either), and I think that this documentary makes it very clear which religious group attacked the other first, and who was nobler of the two great military leaders. Neither the Christians nor their leader look very good in this documentary.
In light of a certain amount of anti-Muslim sentiment in the West following 9/11 and the attacks in Europe, and the ensuing war, it is understandable that the makers of the documentary would look back on the Crusades and find fault in Western behavior. I just find it strange that so many commentators actually thought it biased in favor of Richard I.
The Crusades were a very morally troubling period for both sides to the conflict. There were noble leaders who arose in the midst of it, but no one national, ethnic, or religious group was free of blame for the bloody path that it took. This documentary, like many others produced by Westerners, turns the bulk of the criticism inwardly, and examines the role played by Europe in perpetuating the conflict.