A film that might prove objectionable to some is not being released. Now I understand that this is not a universal rejection, just in the South, and there are commercial interests involved. However, from commercial interests to implicit censorship is not a far stone’s throw. We saw it with Buster the Rabbit. How far will this go? At what point to stop being creative for fear of offending? At what point do we stop being thought provoking? At what point do we become soylent green?
Here is a Newsday article on the exhibit America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, at The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, for which I was the lead academic advisor. It’s a good chance to shout out my friends from high school. “Our goal is to have children deal with differences in a healthy, positive way and encourage them to be inquisitive while exploring the world instead of running away from its differences,” Rashid said, an experience not so different from his years growing up in Elmont.
Ali Eteraz is teasing about a new Rumi bio-pic, run with Qatar Foundation and Rumi Foundation. Looks really good, but some questions: Will it seriously deal with the fact that Shams-i Tabriz was most likely an Ismaili? I can’t imagine the Qataris would be too happy with that. Why do we need a non-Muslim playing the part of Rumi? Are there not enough good Muslim actors? I think the Iranians might object. Even Mel Gibson went with a no name for Jesus to make it seem more real, and that movie seems to have done OK.