Film screening as part of the Visualizing the Sacred: Islam on Film series.
MUHAMMAD: THE LAST PROPHET
(2004, United States)
Directed by Richard Rich
This delightful animated feature is suitable for all-ages as a rousing and moving story of the origins of Islam. Narrated in flashback, the film recounts Muhammad's life from the time of his first revelation to the final victory of his egalitarian message over the forces of repression that controlled Mecca. In keeping with Islamic tradition, director Richard Rich never directly represents Muhammad on screen.
Producer: Mowafak El-Harthy. Screenplay: Brian Nissen. Cast: Eli Allem, Nicholas Kadi. 35mm, 95 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
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