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Koran by Heart (2011)
5 Reasons I Like About This Documentary
Initially, I thought this documentary would be like any other documentary that i forced myself to watch; slow, possibly judgmental and phony. How wrong i was proved to be. I was eating my dinner and thought to myself that by the time i finished it, i would turn off my laptop if the documentary was no good. I was wrong and i was stuck between my meal and this movie till practically the end of the movie, and these are the 5 reasons why i like this piece of work so much:
1) Love: It's very touching to see this feeling, best portrayed by the simple conversation between the Tajik boy and his less than fortunate village father, whom with limited knowledge that he had, gave everything he could to better his son, in his own way of course. Also the conversation with the Maldives' girl, whom missed her mother so much during the trip, saying all the lovely good things about her mommy. Her mother's hope for her little girl, though in contrast with her own husband. Another amazing scene was with the outvoted Senegalese boy, perhaps disappointed and disheartened that he was disqualified, later received his own magic moment in one of the mosques in Egypt. He was honored by so many kisses by the masses after wards.
2) Simple Makes Perfect: This movie shuts the door for any of its crew to portray themselves more than the subjects of the movie. The movie connects one segment to another by writing simple one or two liners and let the subjects themselves, through their own natural reactions or interviews dictate the message of the movie. No annoying interviewer!!!
3) Subtle Ideological Difference: This movie subtly and impartially presents contrasting ideological differences within the Islamic community. With the competition and its participants as the background, these differences of ideology are portrayed between the Maldives' girl's father and mother (ie: what's best for the girl in the future), simple conversation in the buses about having Jews living within the Muslim world, worrying concern by the 'moderate' Egyptian Imam and Maldives' ex-leader against the perceived threat of fundamentalism, the Tajik's Principal vs the village school leader. Pheww...some heavy stuff.
4) Quranic Miracle: Can't help but to ponder how the thick holy book in Arabic, 600 in pages, more than 100 in chapters and more than 6000 in verses were easily memorized by these young boys and girls of Islam. What's more amazing, some of them are non-Arabic speakers and they are as young as 7 to 10 years old!!! Maybe their parents do not have PS3 and TV channels at home...but still, the Maldives' girl was playing super Mario and did excel in other non-religious subjects as well. Truly breathtaking...
5) Ugly Truth: Maybe it's just me, but some of the judges' were less than Quranic in their treatment of the Senegalese boy (no, not as cruel as Simon Cowell). What about that interrogation of the Tajik boy after his recitation? Thank God there was one sane man there...By the way, Hosni Mubarak looked very angelic in the movie. Little that he knew that soon he would be...oh well...
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Bitter Taste of the Truth
Moore's honest and logical explanations of the causes behind the tragedy in Columbine. The documentary depicts the thoughts of people from different walks of lives in the States throughout the movie. The documentary is brutally sensational, eye-opening (especially to Americans at large), hilarious, powerful, provocative, and extraordinary in terms of its message. I can understand why this movie can leave a bitter experience to some people because it hurts, at times as it goes along in finding the truth behind the tragedy.
No matter what one might think, Moore just established himself as a new sensational voice in the history of film making and Americans lives. Hopefully, more documentary of this kind will be produced in the future, because this is one of those movie that makes you think rationally and ponder about its message for hours and hours. I personally could not wait for the release of the next Michael Moore's project after seeing this one.
Bukit Kepong (1981)
This historical movie is quite good, in terms of its acting and also the content. It tells a true story of the Malaysian Police resisting the Communist in a small county of Bukit Kepong, Malaysia. A credit should be given to the director for his sensitivity in making sure that the movie is really based on the historical fact of the event, and yet the movie is still moving and entertaining.
Good to see something nice from this part of the world!!!
The Omen (1976)
Believe me, this movie is as good as The Exorcist. It is really scary. The boy in this classic is really cold. I first watched the movie when i was like 8 years old and i got really scared. So i thought when i watched it again more than 10 years later it will not scare me. Yet, i was totally wrong. It is still what it is.
The Message (1976)
Lately, we are informed that some of the historical movies are misleading and false in terms of presenting the real facts about the stories it tries to tell. Well, this truly masterpiece of Moustapha Akkad is an exception. The whole movie tries to tell and portray the last of the prophets of the Muslims (Muhammad PBUH) as the man he is. And from the lessons that i learned about the prophet, it conforms to what i have watched in the movie. In this aspect, i think all the film makers of any historical movies should have followed the footsteps of this kind of film maker in making a well thorough research before presenting their so-called historical features. This is very important because we know that in every historical event that has happened, it carries with it a generation of people who are touched and affected by it. And it is very important to tell the truth about it since the effects are so much felt by the one who are involved.
In terms of the movie itself, in my own personal opinion, it is one of the best movie i have ever watched. It is unique in style since the main character is not even spoken any words or showing any physical gestures. It is indeed an epic of a holy man. The acting, no doubt about how great it is. The talented actors such as Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas really do their jobs well. If you are interested to know a brief biography of this man who are followed by about one-fifth of the people in this world, well look no further than this movie...
Lion of the Desert (1980)
Brilliant and Realistic Show
This movie is a very good movie. It shows a brilliant performance from every crew of the movie, ranging from the actors up to the director. What makes it really special is that the movie contains the true historical facts without any biased messages. This makes it good historical stuff, not just an ordinary entertainment. Besides, the realistic events and scenes in the movie proves that the crews really makes a good study about the subject matter without any misleading facts of any events or historical figures.
I really recommend this movie and up until now, I wonder why this movie didn't win any awards or even a wide publicity from media.