Moustapha Akkad's 'The Message' to be shown in Saudi Arabia
Director Moustapha Akkadâs masterpiece âThe Messageâ will be screened in Saudi Arabia for the first time after being passed by the countryâs censors.
The cinema epic, which chronicles the life of Prophet Muhammad and the birth of Islam, has undergone extensive restoration and will be screened in 4K at Vox Cinemas Riyadh Park during Eid-Al-Fitr.
The Oscar-nominated film was passed by the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) at a screening on Thursday.
The film caused controversy when it was released in 1976 and was banned across much of the Arab world.
Now it will be given a widespread release across the region. Only Kuwait has continued its ban on the film.
Akkadâs son, Malek, has lobbied extensively for âThe Messa geâ to be screened across the region.
The directorâs son has worked tirelessly on the filmâs restoration and to reacquaint himself with his fatherâs work.
âIronically, even though itâs over 40 years later, probably the biggest challenge has been, once again, all the censorship boards and trying to get them to come around and see this film in a new light,â Akkad said.
âOver the years it has become a favorite, a classic in the region that they play on satellite stations, so a huge portion of the population are familiar with this film. But there is still an old guard on the censorship boards. However, Iâm happy to say we have been pretty much successful in a large number of countries and Iâm very happy about that.â
The re-release has been made possible by a collaboration between Akkadâs Trancas International an d Dubai-based distribution company Front Row Filmed Entertainment.
Moustapha Akkad was born in Aleppo, Syria, had began work on the film in 1974, shooting two versions simultaneously â" one in Arabic and one in English. The Arabic version featured some of the biggest stars of Arab cinema, including Abdullah Gaith in the lead role of Hamza. In the English version, the role of Hamza was played by Anthony Quinn.
In accordance with Islamic beliefs, Prophet Muhammad was not be depicted on screen nor was his voice heard.Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia