Monday, January 14, 2008

'Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens

Cross-post from The World...IMHO

I don't think any of us can do an actual review of this film, because it is only showing in Iranian theaters :)

A director who shares the ideas of Iran's hardline president has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show the "common ground" between Muslims and Christians.

Nader Talebzadeh sees his movie, "Jesus, the Spirit of God," as an Islamic answer to Western productions like Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," which he praised as admirable but quite simply "wrong". LOL At least Gibson followed the Gospel...BTW, Jesus was not Islamic...He was a Jew, and the Church He established is the Catholic Church.

"Gibson's film is a very good film. I mean that it is a well-crafted movie but the story is wrong -- it was not like that," he said, referring to two key differences: Islam sees Jesus as a prophet, not the son of God, and does not believe he was crucified.

Talebzadeh said he even went to Gibson's mansion in Malibu, California, to show him his film. "But it was Sunday and the security at the gate received the film and the brochure and promised to deliver it," though the Iranian never heard back.

Even in Iran, "Jesus, The Spirit of God" had a low-key reception, playing to moderate audiences in five Tehran cinemas during the holy month of Ramadan, in October.

The film, funded by state broadcasting, faded off the billboards but is far from dead, about to be recycled in a major 20 episode spin-off to be broadcast over state-run national television this year.

Talebzadeh insists it aims to bridge differences between Christianity and Islam, despite the stark divergence from Christian doctrine about Christ's final hours on earth.

"It is fascinating for Christians to know that Islam gives such devotion to and has so much knowledge about Jesus," Talebzadeh told AFP. If they had the knowledge, they would know Jesus is the Son of God.

story here


Shannon said...

Except Mel DIDN'T use the gospels. He used the private revelations of Anne Emmerich. Pious meditations, yes. Gospel? No.

It is really tiresome to see "The Passion of the Christ" held up as gospel truth. It makes about as much sense as the guys who come asking for the Left Behind series because they want to know how the world will end. FICTION, I tell them, but they don't seem to know that.

The gospels and other religious stories are up for grabs and interpretation because they capture the imagination. Good, bad, or indifferent, there's something wonderful about the artist's imagination that will take the story and make it one's own.

Anonymous said...

Of course Jesus wasn't "Islamic," and no Muslim would ever claim that he was.

First of all, people aren't Islamic, they are Muslim. Calling them Islamic is like calling Greeks "Grecian" (thank you, George Bush, for that illustrative malapropism), or Asians "Oriental"; it is ignorant and offensive.

Secondly, Islam wasn't founded until the 7th century. As in, some six hundred years after Jesus's life. Muslims, of course, know this, and have a good sense of the history of monotheism. Apparently, many Christians do not.

Finally, Jesus is indeed recognized as a prophet in Islam. The doctrinal differences between Catholics and Muslims are, of course, significant, but it is patently ridiculous and subtly racist for you to imply that "they" are somehow appropriating "your" religious figures. How about a little interfaith respect? God forbid you try and find common ground with people of different faiths!

-Liz B.