Arts & Culture

Can Cinema Be a Window of Truth?


The momentary shadows cast on the "silver screen" by man's imagination earn the right to be born again in a different time and place by means of the cinema. A shadow cast in Hollywood is born again in Istanbul. Shadows travel inch-by-inch around the world...

We followed the trail of the shadows. We pursued noble feelings, pure sorrow, harmless anger and universal truths on the silver screen which is dulled by violence and banality. While walking on film strips wrapped around the whole world, we became curious about how the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is treated as a topic in the cinema. We questioned how well the Prophet's life principles were carried over to the cinema by the ummah, which postpones the desire to see the Prophet until the next world and which intensely avoids imprisoning him in the shallow lines of an image.

We did not encounter anything more than a handful of weak efforts. Or was this vacuum due to the image we took from the screen? For the cinema is naturally a hybrid of sound and image. What could it do without an image?

However, our civilization removed the disadvantage of not being able to depict our Prophet's image and is standing behind us with a rich and artistic cultural heritage. We have enough resources to put across the historical reality and enough history books to illuminate in detail the folklore of that period.

In that case, what is missing are scenario writers who will make an original fantasy from this rich heritage and skillful directors who will transpose it to the cinema... Or people with capital who believe in the power of cinema and can transform even local perceptions into universally accepted truths...

We wanted to put this subject on the agenda at a time when cinema festivals are reaping their annual harvest. Why are Muslims not able to use the cinema in an effective way? Why is Islamic civilization's spiritual dimension not able to be injected into the veins of cinema, and why is Islam with its refined esthetic not able to be transposed to the silver screen? Why are The Prophet and other great people of religion not able to be included in the cinema's sphere of influence while remaining true to sensitivities of Muslims?

While thanking guest writers, directors and cinema critics, we hope this step we have taken will be a vehicle for new productions decked out with our own ideas. Who knows, perhaps one day a shadow cast on the silver screen in our country will be reborn in other lands and travel around the world inch-by-inch...



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