I had the privilege of getting an advanced screening of the documentary: Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World. The film, narrated by Susan Sarandon, traces the religion’s history through the art and architecture. It wisely addresses the subject of Muslims creating art vs. ‘worshipping false idols’ (there’s a million ways to answer that question). The film takes the viewer to well known places like the Taj Mahal and the Dome of the Rock, to smaller and less ‘glamorous’ buildings that are majestic in their own way.
The film premieres nationally on PBS next month: the official press release is below. I encourage everybody to check it out:
New Film Reveals Masterpieces of Islamic Art
Documentary to Air on PBS July 6th
Narrated by Susan Sarandon
SILVER SPRING, MD – June 11, 2012
– Perceptions and ideas around Muslim identity and culture vary widely and too few are aware of the significant works of art and architecture that make up a large part of Islamic civilization’s legacy. Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World,
is a new documentary from award-winning Unity Productions Foundation
(UPF) that brings to life this legacy and will be broadcast nationally on PBS July 6th at 9:00 p.m. EST.
Narrated by actor, Susan Sarandon, this 90-minute film takes audiences on a global journey across nine countries and over 1,400 years ofhistory to present the stories behind the masterworks of Islamic art and architecture.
Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World is the ninth film by Executive Producers Michael Wolfe and Alex Kronemer and UPF (Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain, Prince Among Slaves). The film was produced to nurture a greater appreciation for the exquisite works of art that Islamic culture has contributed to humanity. “I believe all viewers, Muslim and non-Muslims alike, will bepleasantly surprised with what our film uncovers,” states Alex Kronemer. “As a window into an often misunderstood culture, this film has the ability to be a real catalyst for understanding and perhaps offer a new perspective on Islam’s values, culture and lasting legacy,” continues Kronemer.
The film will air on PBS as part of the new PBS Arts Summer Festival
, a multi-part weekly series that will take viewers across the country and around the world.
Viewers of Islamic Art are presented with a kaleidoscope of exquisite works of art – from the opulent Taj Mahal of Agra, India, to the written word in the form of Arabic calligraphy with master calligraphers such as MohamedZakariya. A common theme linking each of the showcased works is the way each piece of art is so different from the next – exemplifying not only the beauty, but the diversity within Islamic cultures. Each masterpiece is a contribution to the larger narrative of just how much Muslims have contributed and still contribute to society.
Michael Wolfe says, “Never before have viewers had the opportunity to explore such richness of Islamic art and history with commentary from some of the world’s most renowned experts who have the ability to explain just why these works are so important.” “We hope watching the film will result in Muslims feeling a source of pride, aswell as celebration in their heritage,” continues Kronemer.
After its national television debut July 6th
, Islamic Art
will be available on DVD for $19.95 through www.upf.tv
Islamic Art has already caught the attention of thought leaders who are calling the film an important contribution to documentary filmmaking about Islamic cultures.
“UPF’s Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World is a stunning achievement in documentary filmmaking. Itopens a window onto a sight of Islam so often neglected in the west. The aesthetic, beauty, and culture offer an opening for us all to start a dialogue on the values that we share and hold in common.” - Karen Armstrong, Award-Winning author of religion
“This film will open the eyes and the imagination of American Muslims, reminding us all of our rich artistic heritage. I highly recommend that all American Muslims watch this documentary and share it with their neighbors!” - Imam Mohamed Magid, President, Islamic Society of North America
Join us on Twitter at @islamicartfilm the evening of the premiere, July 6th, for a tweet chat using the hashtag #IslamicArt.