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Film Review - Mohammed, Messenger of God
One of the better qualities of film making is the ability to expose different cultures to your own. Americans rarely experience this, since we produce most of the world's popular films. One example was Boyz N the Hood, where one who does not live in the black urban neighborhood can feel that they have had a glimpse of what living in the neighborhood is like.
Mohammed, Messenger of God is such a film. For those of us who haven't been exposed to Islam except for news reports of "Islamic Terrorists," we don't really hear anything about what being a Muslim is all about. Mohammed, Messenger of God goes back to the beginning of Islam. Mohammed is the son of a town's elder. But God has spoken to him, and he doesn't care what the town thinks, he must obey God. The small group of followers must first meet in secret, and after their ranks swell, they are forced out of Mecca. The rest of the story concerns itself with the Muslims recruiting more followers, a couple of battles and, finally, the return to Mecca. Throughout this journey, Mohammed's story does not waver. He is God's messenger. You need to do what He says.
Mohammed, Messenger of God is a Lebanese film produced in Morocco and Libya. It strictly adheres to Islamic law, including not portraying the Prophet. The audience never sees Mohammed on screen, nor do we hear his voice. This would be an insult. We see the story through the eyes and actions of Mohammed's followers.
What I would wish for this film would be less of the "action points" and more of the philosophy. We could have used a little more Islamic teachings. But I do feel as though I have been exposed at least a little to a culture I knew virtually nothing about before the screening. For that, the great photography, and the feeling of "being there," I have to give Mohammed, Messenger of God high marks.