Speaking at the premiere of Muhammad: Messenger of God, Majid Majidi says further films would help improve understanding of Islam around the world
It had the potential to be one of the most inflammatory film projects of recent times. Yet the world premiere of Iranian director Majid Majidi’s biopic of the prophet Muhammad not only passed mostly without incident, but even amicably – with a surprise call for rapprochement between the religion’s Sunni and Shia sects.
A small group of protesters gathered outside the Imperial cinema, Montreal, where the premiere was held. Holding signs declaring, “Down with Islamic republic of Iran”, members of the city’s Iranian community objected to what they saw as a glorification of the Islamisation of Iran.
The mood inside the press conference for the film – the first on the subject since Moustapha Akkad’s 1977 film The Message, and the first to visually depict the prophet – was conciliatory. Majidi issued a direct invitation to a rival Qatari team currently developing their own Muhammad franchise to collaborate on future, Islam-themed projects.
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