Bring on the Mo-movie!

<b>Barry Osborne</b>: Bringing Mo into the glare of publicity

Barry Osborne: Bringing Mo into the glare of publicity


A major Hollywood film about the inventor of Islam is due to begin production in 2011.

Qatar based production company Alnoor Holdings has brought in big-shot producer Barrie Osborne (The Matrix and Lord of the Rings) to make a biopic of Mohammed. The usual restrictions apply: no depictions of the “prophet” or his immediate family.

Wallace Shawn must be bitterly disappointed.

Osborne has apparently swallowed the myth hook line and sinker:

He was a profound genius who founded a religion whose name in Islam signifies peace and reconciliation. This is what our film will aspire to do.

If that wasn’t enough to guarantee a whitewash, they have brought in the demented Sheik “Throw gays from clifftops” Qaradawi as a technical advisor.

In spite of the obvious deficiencies of this proposed project, the appearance of a major film about the life of Mohammed is unequivocally a Good Thing. People, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, are generally ignorant of this semi-historical figure as he is depicted in the source texts of Islam.

There are two Jesuses: the perfect Son of God whom Christians carry around in their heads as an ideal imaginary friend, and the rather sanctimonious, petulant, bad-tempered character as depicted in the Gospels (he had good points, too – but the bad ones are always overlooked or excused by believers).

Mohammed has the same dual nature, but the discrepancy for Muslims is even greater. In their heads he is the paradigm of perfect humanity. In the source texts, he is revealed, among other things, as a paedophile and a torturer.

Yes, the biopic will be a whitewash. It will be strongly criticised for it. This will lead to the evidence of the source texts being revealed to a much wider audience than ever before, educating both infidel and Muslim alike.

And that can’t be bad.


6 Responses to “Bring on the Mo-movie!”

  1. Stuart says:

    Yay, that’s something to look forward to, a big-screen biopic of the prophet Muhammad….that…..err….won’t actually feature Mohammed?

  2. Hmmmmm. You’re very optimistic, Monitor. Do movie-goers usually spend a lot of time consulting source texts after they’ve seen the movie? Not that I know of! I think mostly when there is some historical bullshit in a biopic or other putatively ‘historical’ movie, that bullshit promptly becomes a bit of ‘knowledge’ which is damn near impossible to dislodge.

    I hope you’re right, of course.

  3. ZombieHunter says:

    I’m curious to know how you can make a biopic about somebody without actually showing them in it.

    meh gimme tokyo gore police anyday :P

  4. Angela_K says:

    Ophelia Benson is correct: tell a big enough lie and becomes [to some] a fact, rather like Al Gore’s film. It does make me wonder who is the target audience, apart from the rent a mob muslim types who want something to riot about.

  5. aharon says:

    A few points:

    * Yes, the Mohammedian story does feature a figure who, like other religions’ inventors, are narratives I find greatly lamentable. However, just like watching any other movie, or reading any other narrative – it does not follow that a person will emulate, or indeed be influenced in a particular way..

    * Yes, it is possible to do a film without the “main character” appearing. Check out Kill Bill #1. Not the best of films, but it is not for the fact Bill does not show up..

    * I have my doubts about the seemingly propagandistic approach taken in the buildup for the film. I hope to be confounded and feel I have made a mistake. Will it not be great if the film will actually question islam in particular and religiousity in general? However, lets save the crit for after the film is out, or there is a risk of sounding a bit like the Springer Opera bashers..