The Message (movie)

The Message ( Arabic title : الرسالة [arrissala] 1 , the English title : The Message ) is a Moustapha Akkad film made in 1976 and released the following year.

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Describing the life of the prophet of Islam Mohammed , this film has the particularity of being shot simultaneously in English and Arabic, with different main actors depending on the version. In accordance with the aniconism of the Islamic tradition , the prophet is never represented . Its presence is “evoked” , or “suggested” to the viewer, by the process of the subjective camera 2 , 3 . The same treatment is applied to Ali ibn Abi Talib who “appears” in the film.

Synopsis

In 610 , the West enters the Middle Ages and many civilizations disappear [ref. necessary] . The prophet Muhammad is 40 years old that year and he preaches the Qur’an . The action takes place from the year when he preaches the Qur’an in the year of his death in 632.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: الرسالة , Al Rissalah
  • English title: The Message
  • French title: Le Message
  • Director: Moustapha Akkad , assisted by Andrew Marton
  • Scenario: HAL Craig, Jawdat El-Sahhar, Rahman El-Sharkawi Mohammad Ali Maher, Tewfik El Hakim  (en)
  • Production: Moustapha Akkad , Harold Buck, Mohammad Sanousi
  • Production Company: Filmco International Productions
  • Distribution: Filmco International Productions Inc.
  • Artistic direction: Norman Dorme, Abdel Moneim Shoukry
  • Photography: Said Baker, Jack Hildyard , Ibrahim Salem
  • Music: Maurice Jarre
  • Editing: John Bloom
  • Sets: Maurice Fowler, Tambi Larsen
  • Costumes: Phyllis Dalton
  • Language: Arabic / English (exists in two versions)
  • Country: United Kingdom, Lebanon, Libya, Kuwait, Morocco
  • Genre: Historical, Religious
  • Format: Colors – 35 mm – 2,35: 1 – Mono
  • Budget: 10,000,000 $ (estimate)
  • Box Office: 15 million $
  • Duration: 171 minutes / 198 minutes (Arabic version)
  • Release dates:
    •  United States (New York only): March 9, 1977
    •  France : July 8, 1977
    •  Turkey : October 1977
    •  United States : July 2, 2012 (Blu-ray Premiere)

Distribution

English version

  • Anthony Quinn (FW: Henry Djanik ) : Hamza
  • Irene Papas : Hind
  • Michael Ansara (VF: Denis Savignat ) : Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
  • André Morell (VF: Georges Riquier ) : Abu Talib
  • Wolfe Morris : Abu-Lahab
  • Rosalie Crutchley : Soumaya
  • Damien Thomas (VF: Claude Giraud ) : Zaid
  • Johnny Sekka : Bilal
  • Michael Forest (VF: Michel Le Royer ) : Khalid
  • Garrick Hagon (VF: Pierre Arditi ) : Ammar
  • Martin Benson (VF: Jacques Mauclair ) : Abu Jahl
  • Robert Brown (VF: André Valmy ) : Otba
  • Bruno Barnabe (VF: Albert Medina ) : Umaya
  • Jason Neville (VF: Bernard Murat ) : Jaafar
  • John Bennett (VF: Rene Arrieu ) : Salool
  • Donald Burton (VF: Pierre Hatet ) : Amr
  • Earl Cameron (VF: George Aminel ) : Annajashi
  • George Camiller (VF: Sady Rebbot ) : Waleed
  • Nicolas Amer: Suheil
  • Ronald Chenery: Mosaab
  • Michael Godfrey (VF: François Chaumette ) : Barra
  • John Humphry: Ubaida
  • Ewen Solon (VF: Louis Arbessier ) : Yasser
  • Ronald Leigh-Hunt: Heraclius
  • Leonard Trolley: Silk Merchant
  • Gerard Hely: Sinan
  • Habib Ageli: Hudayfa
  • Peter Madden : the toothless man
  • Hassan Joundi (VF: René Arrieu ) : Kisra
  • Elaine Ives-Cameron: Arwa
  • Mohammad Al-Gaddary: Usurer
  • Ahmed Abdelhalim: Uriqat
  • Mohamed Basri : Merchant
  • Hassan Essakali
  • Salem Gedara: Wahshi
  • Richard Johnson (VF: Roland Ménard ) : The Narrator

Arabic version

  • Abdullah Gaith  (en) : Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib
  • Muna Wassef : Hind bint ‘Utba
  • Hamdi Gaith: Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
  • Ali Ahmed Salem: Bilal ibn Rabah
  • Mahmud Sa’eed: Khalid ibn al-Walid
  • Ahmed Marey : Zayd ibn Harithah
  • Mohammed Al-Arabi: Ammar
  • Hassan Jundi: Abu Jahl
  • Sanaa Gamil  (en) : Sumayyah bint Khayyat
  • Abdu al-Wareth: Yasir ibn Amir
  • Monir Ma’acery: Djafar ibn Abi Talib
  • Abd Ar Raheem El Zarkany: Abu Talib
  • Abd Al Badee’a Al Araby: Utbah ibn Rabi’ah  (en)
  • Abd Al Atheem Ab al Hak Ashama ibn Abjar
  • Ahmed Abatha: Abu Lahab
  • Martin Benson : Khosro I
  • Ronald Leigh-Hunt  (in) : Heraclius
  • Salem Jadara: Wahshi ibn Harb  (en)
  • Mohammed Sabeeh: Sorakat, the guide
  • Tayeb Saddiki : Walid
  • Mahmoud Yassine : The Narrator 4

Production

Akkad meets the reluctance of Hollywood studios to produce a film about the origins of Islam and had to shoot his film with Kuwaiti , Moroccan and Libyan funding . The film was shot in Morocco and largely in Libya . Akkad consulted with Muslim scholars to respect Muslim beliefs, particularly regarding the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, to the point of having his film approved by al-Azhar University . He wanted to make a film that is a “bridge” between Muslim civilization and the West.

I made this film because it represents a personal issue. In addition, his production is interesting, there is a story, a plot, a dramatic force. As a Muslim living in the West, I consider it my duty to tell the truth about Islam. It is a religion that has 700 million followers, yet we know so little about it that it is surprising. I thought telling this story could create a bridge to the West 5 . “

Reception

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Upon the release of the Message to the United States, the, an armed group of twelve African-American activists proclaiming themselves ” Hanafi Muslims ” and claiming in particular the destruction of the film they consider “sacrilegious” , takes 149 people hostage in three buildings in Washington . The hostage-taking lasts 39 hours and makes one (or two) death (s) and 12 wounded 2 , 6 .

The film was screened in prime time on Antenne 2 , during an issue of the show Les Dossiers de l’écran dedicated to Islam, in 1979 and on the channel Arte in prime time of the evening of July 24, 2017 7 .

Around the film

  • The film has been dubbed in 12 languages 1 .
  • It took four and a half months to build a replica of the city of Mecca .
  • The cast brought together more than 28 nationalities and different cultures.
  • Mohamed Ali was interested in the role of Bilal ibn Rabah but the filmmaker refused for fear that his notoriety would overshadow the film.
  • Almost all of Michael Forest’s replicas were dubbed by an Englishman to hide his American accent, which is ironic given that he was a doubler himself.
  • This is the latest appearance of British actor Peter Madden .
  • In 2015 , according to The Guardian relayed by Libération , its projection was canceled in Glasgow ( Scotland ) following a petition from “94 people claiming to be based in Nigeria , Bahrain and Saudi Arabia ” 1 . The problem that arose was that Anthony Quinn 1 – playing the role of Hamza , uncle of the prophet Muhammad – are dancing and “the fact that the companions of the Prophet […] [are] not embodied by the Muslim one . “

References

  1. ↑ a , b , c , d and e Mohamed Zerni, ” The film” The Message “censored in Scotland ”  [ archive ] , on Webdo.tn , (accessedFebruary 6, 2016 ) .
  2. ↑ a and b Julie Pêcheur , ” Mohammed, the biopic of all dangers ”  [ archive ] [html] , on lemonde.fr , M, the magazine of the World ,(accessed August 22, 2016 ) .
  3. ↑ Said Mahrane , ” Mohammed, the cursed movie ”  [ archive ] [php] , on the point.fr , Le Point , (accessed January 22, 2016 ) .
  4. ↑ Ignacio Ramonet , ” ” The Message “: an” epic “Impossible “, Le Monde diplomatique , ( read online  [ archive ] ).
  5. ↑ GIL  [ archive ] , ” The Message, by Moustapha Akkad ”  [ archive ] , on Leconflit.com , (accessed February 6, 2016 ) .
  6. ↑ (in) Theresa Vargas , ” ” Some Things You Never Forget “ ”  [ archive ][html] on washingtonpost.com , The Washington Post ,(accessed August 22, 2016 ) .
  7. ↑ Three good reasons to see “The Message”  [ archive ] . Arte . (accessed July 24, 2017)

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