The Message

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The Message

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An epic story of Islam by Syrian director Moustapha Akkad starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas. Chronicling the life and times of the prophet Mohammad, the film introduces early Islamic history, starting with Islam's beginnings in Mecca in which the Muslims are persecuted, the exodus to Medina, and ending with the Muslims' triumphant return to Mecca. A number of crucial events, such as the Battle of Badr and the Battle of Uhud are depicted. Unusually for a film, and so to respect the Muslim requirement of non-depiction of the prophet Mohammad as advised by Sheikhs consulted on the film, he is not shown on screen nor is his voice heard. This rule extends to his wives, his daughters, his sons-in-law, and the 4 righteous caliphs. This left the Prophet's uncle Hamza, his adopted son Zayd, Abu Sufyan (the leader of Mecca) and his wife Hind bint Utbah. The prophet's presence is indicated by light organ music. His words, as he spoke them, were repeated by someone else such as Hamza, Zayd and Bilal. When a scene calls for him to be present, the action is filmed from his point of view. Akkad filmed an Arabic version of the film (in which Muna Wassef played Hind) with an Arab cast simultaneously with the US version. The actors took turns doing the English and Arabic versions in each scene

Nominations and Awards

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Music (original score by Maurice Jarre)


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