(Majid Majidi, Iran 2015, 178 min., DCP, Persian w/subtitles)
Vittorio Storaro | East Coast Premiere | Cinematographer in Person | Post-screening Remarks by Dr. Muhammad Shafiq. The George Eastman Museum is proud to host the East Coast premiere and very rare screening of one of the latest epic productions filmed by Storaro, with an introduction by Storaro himself. Directed by internationally awarded and respected Iranian veteran Majid Majidi, this extravagant historical spectacle chronicles the first thirteen years in the life of Prophet Muhammad.
After the screening, Dr. Muhammad Shafiq, executive director of the Brian and Jean Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue and professor of religious studies at Nazareth College, will provide context and commentary on the film, which has been the source of international controversy.
“This is not the first time the prophet of Islam has hit the big screen, but Moustapha Akkad’s 1977 film The Message chose to relay Qu’ranic history only from Muhammad’s point of view. Majid Majidi’s Muhammad: Messenger of God, on the other hand, takes the representation plunge. But Majidi’s lavish $40m film is nothing if not well-intentioned, and what we do see—courtesy of Apocalypse Now DoP Vittorio Storaro, always verges on the symbolic. . . . In some ways, perhaps the film’s most radical message lies in its impeccably rich re-creation of the seventh-century Hejaz. . . . It’s a fraught, heaving world, a polytheistic marketplace full of arbitrary violence and idolatrous come-ons; Majidi’s understanding of the pagan chasm out of which Islam emerged is in direct contravention of the Isis blockheads trying to dump it into a void outside of history. His film is intellectually honest, committed and poetic, but let’s hope we never need to call it ‘brave.’” – The Guardian
FREE admission (no reserved seats; first come, first served)
Doors open at 1:15 p.m.