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.
Table of Contents
1 Reframing the Study of Muslims and Islam in Film
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
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
6 Performing Identities: Intersections of Muslim Sexuality, Gender, and Race in Touch of Pink and Shades of Ray
Part 3 New Perspectives
7 "Oh, What if We Call Him Allah?" Ambiguous Orientalism in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Crusades
8 Mystics in the Movies: Sufism in Global Cinema
9 Depicting the Prophet without Showing Him
Part 4 New Directions
10 "I Can Take Your Eyes": Re-Envisioning Religion and Gender in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
11 Negotiating Borders, Gender, and Identity: A Transnational Feminist Study of an Iranian Documentary
12 Film as a Scene of ‘Rupture’: Religion, Gender and Rights in Muslim Communities
Part 5 New Understandings of Conflict
13 Islam, Gender, and Extremist Violence in Contemporary Egyptian Cinema
14 Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Religion: Muslim Immigrants in German Cinematic Arts
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.