Darren Aronofsky, director of "Black Swan," is set to bring the biblical story of Noah to the big screen. Filmmakers have brought to life several stories from the Bible, but what about tales and beliefs from other religions around the globe?
The Bhagavad Gita has become a movie, "Bhagavad Gita: Song of the Lord," but it is little known. The story is about Arjuna, a man forced to fight his family in war. He asks the god Krishna to help him decide whether or not to fight.
The movie could take place right on the battlefield and flash back to explain how the war began and who is who in the battle. The whole story is an allegory, and those lessons could still shine through in the film.
Bollywood should make this film. Indian filmmakers have made historical religious epics before, such as "Asoka," and the requisite color and music somehow always works, no matter the plot.
Muslims believe God revealed Islam to the prophet Muhammad. This film is difficult to make because of the Islamic law forbidding visual depictions of the prophet. The film "The Message" circumvented this by having actors talk to the camera or to the prophet off-screen.
It's interesting to note that the director of the film, Moustapha Akkad, died during a suicide bombing in Jordan in 2005, which is just a dark footnote to "The Message's" controversial history. During the Hanafi Siege in 1977, the gunmen demanded the film's destruction because it was "sacrilegious."
A film about the creation of Islam is necessary today, especially in wake of the 9/11 attacks. A remake is in the works but, unfortunately, it might spark controversy worse than the original did during its 1970s release. A foreign film about Muhammad done by a country primarily made up of Muslims would stand a better chance than a U.S. depiction, no matter how determined the filmmakers are to get things right. Why? The film might succeed in Muslim countries and spark enough interest in the United States. If it doesn't, at least it would create less controversy.
Poetic Edda and Prose Edda
The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda tell the story of the Norse god Odin. No, not the Marvel Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins in "Thor"). It's about time someone makes a film about the king of the Norse gods that doesn't involve a tight suit and superheroes.
Why not create an epic about Odin's birth, the creation of humans, the birth of Thor, and his death by Fenrir? Someone could make an entire film just on how Odin gained power while speared to a tree. Forget comic books; the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda tell a better story.
Isis and Osiris
The story of how Osiris became the Egyptian god of the underworld is also a beautiful love story. Osiris's brother Set murders him but his wife, Isis, repeatedly saves and protects his body. Her devotion leads to his resurrection. While many imagine Osiris as a green man with a giant hat, the movie could depict him as more human, with or without green skin.
Egypt should make the film, of course. While it is difficult to name a famous Egyptian movie, the country does have the largest Arabic language film industry. It is also home of the Cairo International Film Festival. A religious epic about Isis and Osiris might help Egypt gain more movie fans.
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