A glimpse of Muhammad? Iranian film in hot water after depicting the prophet
An Iranian film attempting to tell the Prophet Muhammad's life story is facing criticism for defying the religion's ultimate taboo. (Screenshot: "Muhammad, Messenger of God")
An Iranian film attempting to tell the Prophet Muhammad's life story is facing criticism for defying the religion's ultimate taboo.
In state-sponsored "Muhammad, Messenger of God," the country tells the story of a young Muhammad, and it's forking over the cash to do it. Reports say the multi-million-dollar biopic is the most expensive film in Iran's history. The Guardian reported an estimate of around $30 million.
Director Majid Majidi has worked for five years as a well-established pro-Iranian filmmaker. While the screen never shows his face, and the prophet's story never goes past the age of 12, ending with his first visit to Damascus, it still became a source of controversy for the devout who disapprove of Muhammad's depiction even as a child.
A university in Egypt released a statement asking Iran not to release the movie: “We demand that Iran refrain from releasing the movie, so that an undistorted image of the prophet can be preserved in the minds of Muslims. We call upon all filmmakers to respect religions and prophets.”
The creator has criticisms himself, that the movie fails to show Islam beyond "Jihad and war," he told The Guardian. "The image of Islam in that film is the image of a sword." Ultimately Majidi said the goal of the biopic was to create a sense of unity among Muslims.
After the opening ceremony, Majidi will be preparing for an international release in March.