Film screening as part of the Visualizing the Sacred: Islam on Film series.
(1976, Pakistan/Kuwait/Morocco/Lebanon/Libya/United Kingdom)
Directed by Moustapha Akkad
Moustapha Akkad's impressive directorial debut chronicles the birth of Islam in seventh-century Arabia. Determined to make an enlightening primer on the basic teachings of Islam, Akkad balances Koranic exposition with the kind of spectacular set pieces expected in Hollywood-style religious extravaganzas. While Mohammed plays a central role, the film refrains from depicting him via body or voice in accordance with Islamic custom.
Screenplay: H.A.L. Craig. Cinematographer: Jack Hildyard. Cast: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas, Michael Ansara. 35mm, 177 min.
Visualizing the Sacred: Islam on Film
Since September 11, 2001, images of Islam in the mainstream American media have been virtually monolithic in their focus on terrorism and radicalism. At the same time, the on-going Danish cartoon controversy has sparked heated debate about the intersections of free speech and religious tradition, representation and tolerance. The films in this series offer a timely counterpoint to prevailing media trends as well as stirring examples of how filmmakers from around the world have grappled with some of the unique challenges of representing Islamic history, faith and practice on screen.
Whether addressing the contemporary struggle to maintain belief in a rapidly changing world or seeking ways to visualize the ineffable experience of the divine -as well as the divine itself - these recent and classic works, alike, explore the deeply human joys and complexities of Muslim faith and identity as viewed from a diverse range of cultural contexts and genres. Islam is not only the subject of these films, it is their inspiration.
Cost: Advance tickets - $10 at www.cinema.ucla.edu, $9, general admission; $8, Cineclub members, students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members with ID
Parking - After 6 p.m., $3 in the lot under the theater. Enter from Westwood Blvd., just north of Wilshire.
UCLA Film and Television Archive
Sponsor(s): UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
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