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Muḥammad - (محمد)
Up to today two English films have been produced about Muhammad, the Islamic Prophet. Another, a mixed set of film blurbs construed as cheap but deadly provocation is mentioned around the same time as the 2012 U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi and caused unrest, deaths and hundreds of injuries in many places in the (Arab and wider) world.
The Message 
The film was released on January 1, 1976 and on July 29 of the same year it had its premiere in "Plaza", a London cinema. There are two versions of the movie, an English one and an Arab one. The Arab version had also its premiere in a London cinema, Curzon, on August 19, 1976. Both versions were screened till September 29. So the English version was shown for nine weeks, the Arab version for six weeks.
When director Mustafa Akkad (1935-2005) was shooting the film, he made use of an American cast and an Egyptian cast. In the English version Anthony Quinn played Hamza, Michael Ansara Muhammad's principal opponent Abu Sufyan, and Irene Papas Abu Sufyan's wife Hind. In the Arab version these roles were played by Egyptian actors. However, in a number of overall shots, in which a large group is acting, such as the Battle of Badr, it can be heard that the scene is shot only once, as the actors shout "Allahu Akbar", whereas in other similar scenes the director opted for "God is great".
Although the movie is about Muhammed, the director decided to use a very special manner of shooting, as he is not shown, for in Islam it is not permitted to make images of the prophet. Therefore he frequently changed the position of the camera on the moment Muhammad would be brought into vision. Furthermore the audience sees large parts of the film through the eyes of the prophet.
"The Message" became very popular, not the least in the circles of Muslims, for example in Africa, and Asia.
Muhammad: The Last Prophet 
"Muhammad: The Last Prophet" is an animation film produced by Badr International according to the same principles as "The Message". Its director is Richard Rich. The movie was released in 2004 and it was screened in a limited number of movie-theatres in the United States and the United Kingdom. The film focuses on the early period of Islam.
Up to today two documentaries are produced about Muhammad, the first one being "Islam: Empire of Faith" (2000) and the second one being "Muhammad, Legacy of a Prophet" (2002).
See also 
- Freek L. Bakker, 'The Image of Muhammad in THE MESSAGE, the First and Only Feature Film about the Prophet of Islam', Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 17/1 (2006), p. 77-92.
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