Sep 11, 2012

The innocence of None [255/365]

Religion in movie can be a tricky preposition. I remember how the Mel Gibson movie 'Passion of the Christ' got the churches talking. For those who saw the movie, it was clear Mel tried really hard to portray Christ and Jews as 'non-controversially' as possible. That in itself was a huge triumph.

Movies must depict the truth. It must move the viewer into thinking. Movies must be a medium to transmit the emotions of its characters more than its makers. The debate could go on.

Last week, provocative trailers of Innocence of Muslims, an Anti-Islam movie that was shot with American actors, has flung shit into the fan. Made by an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and promoted by Qur'an-burning US Preacher Terry Jones, the movie showed the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer, homosexual and child abuser. The trailers of the movie uploaded on video-sharing site YouTube were 'designed to enrage' and 'anti-Muslim'. The actors and crew behind this movie has since told the press how they were misled about the intent and purpose of this movie when it was made a year ago.

Why would anyone make such a movie and release a provocative trailer online? Tough question to answer.
But the violence that this movie has caused is unspeakable. The losses unthinkable. Several people unrelated to the makers of this movie have since died as a result of this movie.
Where the f*ck is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula? Is he ever going to be held responsible for this atrocity?

By creating a movie like this, Nakoula has erred. But we can't deny the invaluable PR- millions of dollars worth of advertisement- that he got for free. He has got people googling for him and his movie. I can't imagine any other movie in recent memory which has got the kind of publicity the way 'Innocence of Muslims' have. His actions and this movie will be banned and in any country that has a sizable number of Muslims. He would probably be investigated and indicted for creating worldwide protests. But this is only going to make it really tough for genuine Indie film-makers in the future. Hollywood has taken a rap on the wrist, but America has lost much of the goodwill that Obama and Ms Clinton has struggled to create. Six American ambassadors have died and if the radicals have their way, this count could go up. Scores of civilians have died the bloodshed does not look like its going to dry up.

Now, I am no lover of radical Islamism but I agree they had a right to protest but by targeting the Americans, Israelites and Germans (!) aren't they, I dont know, vindicating the violence shown in the movie? None of the victims deserved to be killed for a movie they had nothing to do with.
By killing the innocent they have made naught any of the benefits of the Arab Spring uprising. While not all Muslims are violent, the spate of violence has proved that it only takes a dozen imams and a hundred radicals to undo the good of a million Muslims. If any consolation, had a Bollywood director made this movie, our primitive censor board would have stopped this right in its tracks.

Ironically, YouTube has still not taken the videos down and you should be able to see clones of the original upload online. Some of them High Definition. Countries where violence has broken have been grappling to contain and reassure their Islamic population.
While I know this will pass in a few weeks, I wonder how many Muslims really think what is portrayed in the movie is indicative of what they and their religion really is. Today's Muslims have much bigger issues to worry about than a movie made by one cowardly lunatic.

Whatever Sam and his Qur'an-burning compatriot wants to accomplish, I doubt if they will ever find forgiveness for the violence and hatred they have promoted. I surely wouldn't want to be in Sam Bacile's shoes today or any day soon.
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