Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Epic Film “Muhammad” Premiers in Iran to Receive Widespread Accolades

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The most expensive movie in Iran’s history, “Muhammad”, which chronicles the childhood of the Holy Muslim prophet, opened nationwide, winning praise from early audiences.

According to the Iranian media, world-renowned filmmaker Majid Majidi’s latest offer which released in Iran on Thursday, has won huge praises from early audiences.

The 171-minute, visually stunning film cost around $40 million (36 million euros), partly funded by the state, and took more than seven years to complete.

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The Iranian film is the biggest budget movie in the country’s history. It portrays the Muhammad childhood and is the first of trilogy on the life of the prophet.

Majidi’s film, which is the first part of an ambitious trilogy about the prophet’s life, tells the story of Muhammad (PBUH) 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.

A number of internationally-acclaimed professionals, including Academy Award winning visual effects supervisor and filmmaker Scott E. Anderson, three-time Oscar-winning Italian director of photography Vittorio Storaro and renowned Croat production designer Milijen Kreka Kljakovic collaborated in making the film.

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Academy Award-winning Indian music composer Allah-Rakha Rahman has written music for the movie.

According to the MWFF’s website, the film does not depict Muhammad (PBUH) himself but his world, the pagan age with all its tyranny and oppression as seen through the eyes of young Muhammad (PBUH) from birth to the age of 13.

“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 has said the aim of his work, the first part of a trilogy, is to reclaim the rightful image of Islam, which he said extremists have wrongly made violent.

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Strong demand in Tehran

The theatre was around two-thirds full at an 11:00 am showing on Thursday, the first day of the Iranian weekend, but afternoon sessions were sold out in advance and two more had to be added for after midnight to meet demand.

Abolfazl Fatehi, 21, who came to watch the film in a family group of seven, said he loved it.

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“I think this film can be a starting point of research for those who don’t know Islam,” he said.

Mehdi Azar, a 25-year-old worker at the cinema, said that while the film’s length might put some movie-goers off, “it’s attractive enough to draw an audience. It was very attractive visually”.

The film is the second major production on the prophet.

The first, “Muhammad, Messenger of God”, was made in 1976 by Syrian-American filmmaker Moustapha Akkad.

It was a huge success with Shiite Iranians.

Forty years on, with its cost around 20 times higher than any other Iran-produced film, Majidi’s effort has raised high expectations.

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About Majidi

Majid Majidi is an internationally and critically acclaimed Iranian film director, film producer, and screen writer whose films have touched on many themes and genres and has won many international awards.

His acclaimed film, Children of Heaven (1997), was the first Iranian film nominated for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Language Film) in 1999.

Majidi’s 1999 film ‘The Color of Paradise’ was chosen one of the best 10 films of the year in the US in 2000.

 

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