Friday, 15 November, 2019

Iran’s most Expensive Film on Prophet Muhammad set for Premiere

A multimillion-dollar movie about the childhood of the prophet Muhammad – Iran’s most expensive film to date – is set to premiere soon.

Tehran’s Fajr international film festival, which coincides with the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, is scheduled to show the country’s own version of how Islam’s most revered figure lived.

The film, to be released as Muhammad, Messenger of God” in the festival’s opening ceremony, is made by Majid Majidi, a leading pro-establishment Iranian director who has worked for more than five years to produce what is only the second big-budget feature made about the prophet (after Moustapha Akkad’s 1976 version).

Majidi’s state-sponsored film, which is the first part of an ambitious trilogy about the prophet’s life, tells the story of Muhammad from his birth to the age of 12, ending with his first visit to Sham (Syria) where Bahira, a Christian monk, is believed to have predicted he would one day become a prophet.

The total cost of the film is estimated at about $30 million, a record sum for an Iranian production.

Iran is bracing for a large international release in March, at least in the English- and Arabic-speaking worlds.

According to the Guardian, Prophet’s face will not be shown on screen and the Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, the three-time Oscar-winner for master pieces films, has worked on various combinations of light and darkness to make religious depictions in the film possible.

“The film starts with [the prophet’s] adolescence, and his childhood is shown through flashbacks. We chose the period before Muhammad became a prophet,” Majidi told reporters last November.

Majidi is one of Iran’s most well-known filmmakers, famed for his lush, gentle stories of ordinary Iranians and their daily struggles.

He hopes that “Muhammad” will burnish the image of both Islam and Iran in the wider world.

“This film is a step forward for Muslim cinema,” Majidi told local reporters last year. “We’re going to help open your eyes to what Islam really is all about. We have a lot of positive things to share with the world, provided that the West is ready for such a dialogue. I think that Iran can have something strong to say through its arts and culture.”

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1 Comment

  1. Emery

    June 11, 2021 at 1:01 am

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