1st Edition

New Approaches to Islam in Film

Edited By Kristian Petersen Copyright 2021
    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    Many global film industries fail in expanding the role of Muslims on screen. Too often they produce a dichotomy between "good" and "bad" Muslims, limiting the narrative domain to issues of national security, war, and terrorism. Naturally, much of the previous scholarship on Muslims in film focused on stereotypes and the politics of representation. This collection of essays, from an international panel of contributors, significantly expands the boundaries of discussion around Muslims in film, asking new questions of the archive and magnifying analyses of particular cultural productions.

    The volume includes the exploration of regional cinemas, detailed analysis of auteurs and individual films, comparison across global cinema, and new explorations that have not yet entered the conversation. The interdisciplinary collection provides an examination of the multiple roles Islam plays in film and the various ways Muslims are depicted. Across the chapters, key intersecting themes arise that push the limits of how we currently approach issues of Muslims in cinema and ventures to lead us in new directions for future scholarship.

    This book adds new depth to the matrix of previous scholarship by revisiting methodological structures and sources, as well as exploring new visual geographies, transnational circuits, and approaches. It reframes the presiding scholarly conventions in five novel trajectories: considering new sources, exploring new communities, probing new perspectives, charting new theoretical directions, and offering new ways of understanding conflict in cinema. As such, it will be of great use to scholars working in Islamic Studies, Film Studies, Religious Studies, and Media.

    1 Reframing the Study of Muslims and Islam in Film

    Kristian Petersen

    Part 1 New Sources

    2 Race, Torture Porn, and the Menacing Black Muslimness of Five Fingers

    Mika'il A. Petin

    3 Muhammad as a Synthesis of Meditation and Action: A 1932 Screenplay by Nikos Kazantzakis

    Panayiota Mini

    4 Being a (Muslim) Worker in the Egyptian Film Industry

    Chihab El Khachab

    Part 2 New Communities

    5 Puerto Rican Muslims in Post-9/11 Documentaries: Authenticity, Cultural Identity and Communal Belonging

    Yamil Avivi

    6 Performing Identities: Intersections of Muslim Sexuality, Gender, and Race in Touch of Pink and Shades of Ray

    Aman Agah

    Part 3 New Perspectives

    7 "Oh, What if We Call Him Allah?" Ambiguous Orientalism in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Crusades

    David Blanke

    8 Mystics in the Movies: Sufism in Global Cinema

    Emily O'Dell

    9 Depicting the Prophet without Showing Him

    Bilal Yorulmaz

    Part 4 New Directions

    10 "I Can Take Your Eyes": Re-Envisioning Religion and Gender in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

    Megan Goodwin

    11 Negotiating Borders, Gender, and Identity: A Transnational Feminist Study of an Iranian Documentary

    Najmeh Moradiyan-Rizi

    12 Film as a Scene of ‘Rupture’: Religion, Gender and Rights in Muslim Communities

    Milja Radovic

    Part 5 New Understandings of Conflict

    13 Islam, Gender, and Extremist Violence in Contemporary Egyptian Cinema

    Clarissa Burt

    14 Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Religion: Muslim Immigrants in German Cinematic Arts

    Anna Akasoy

    15 Together in the Midst of War: Muslim and Christian Coexistence in Lebanese Cinema

    Sérgio Dias Branco


    Kristian Petersen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Old Dominion University, USA.