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Bilal (From the U.A.E. in English)

Animated film based on the life of Bilal, one of the prophets of Muhammad. Bilal is a young boy who pretends to be a great warrior, and he dreams of being a warrior someday. When their mother is killed by marauders, Bilal and his sister are both taken as slaves by a master who treats them poorly and who is possessed by greed and wealth. As a teenager, Bilal meets Abu Bakr, who tells Bilal that there is another way to freedom, and this meeting changes his life. The animation is wonderful (I wished I had been able to see it in 3D). I did not know what to expect, and for a while I thought the movie was about the life of Jesus. I finally realized that it was about one of the prophets in the Islamic tradition, and it amazed me how similar the stories are between Christianity and Islam. It is a nice film about the power of faith, perseverance, and devotion to a just cause. The film was made in the United Arab Emirates, and it turned out to be a personally memorable opportunity to see the film in Dubai. It doesn’t seem to have gotten much airplay in the US, although it should, as it is a story of another religion that would be great for people to see. Thumbs up from me for a movie that is not perfect but is a really nice story with a great message. This really is not a movie for younger children, however, as it can get rather violent at times.

About Gary Burkholder

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