The Road to Mecca – The Journey of Muhammad Asad

The Road to Mecca - The Journey of Muhammad Asad
               Genre: Documentary
  Did you know that the most important Quran translation comes from the scion of a rabbinical family? And that was one of the leading Islamic cleric an Austrian? If not, then you are definitely not alone. But in the midst of a high voltage issue documentation.

Leopold Weiss, who later called himself Muhammad Asad, especially in Europe today is almost forgotten. This is really incomprehensible. For thinking and the books of the 1992 deaths could be in a unique way to build bridges between Islam and the West. Therefore, it is a great merit of the documentary filmmaker Georg Misch (Calling Hedy Lamarr), this spirit of freedom and exciting adventure come alive on the screen.

A biography and a novel: born in 1900 in Lemberg and Vienna and raised in the Jewish faith, Weiss traveled to Palestine in 1922 for the first time. Actually, he wants to go there, only an uncle, but the encounter with the Arab world, rolls up the life of the student journalists to complete. He falls in love with the lifestyle of the Bedouins, he is fascinated by the desert and the Koran. In the new religion, he finds “self” and “the art of living”. He converted from Judaism to Islam and is riding on a camel all the way to Mecca. But this is far from being the last stop of an incredibly curious, open-minded and courageous life.

Director Georg Misch is not about historicizing detail. He is concerned about what is still relevant today in the life and teachings of Muhammad Asad. It comes out of the way to Mecca – The Journey of Muhammad Asad without superficial upgrades. The depressing us all conflict between Islam and the Western world speaks well enough for itself. The director must be as nothing to add. He does it not also wisely: Every viewer is free to form his own judgments.

Georg Misch has opted for a simple but highly effective method of presentation. He travels with his team back to the stations of Asad’s life, beginning in Lviv to Vienna, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, New York to Morocco and finally Andalusia. There he meets companions, survivors, supporters and opponents of Asad’s teaching, senior experts as well as ordinary people off the streets. The individual stations it connects with an insight into photo albums and supplements them with historical footage.

In one of the most touching scenes, the camera observes a Bedouin, which loads a camel. The animal growls and shows his teeth, protested against the load. Then the man rises, the camel gets up reluctantly, made a surprising move forward – and the Bedouin tumbles to the ground. “We have forgotten how to ride a camel,” he says, embarrassed. The man knew the sad by this time probably not even. But by coincidence, the director was able to witness the exact moment, although he was approached by a very different intention at the scene. Compact can not believe the story of the demise of a once proud nomadic people in pictures.

George compound seems to be a lucky man to be. Almost at every station he meets similar incidents. Throughout his surprising encounter situations that cast a spotlight on the state of our world: the paths that we walk, in the missed insights, which we deny ourselves, to the stubbornness with which we cling to our bad luck.
(# ) It’s like this: The blindness and prejudices with which we deal with Islam, are based almost solely on ignorance. Who makes to the trouble to look more closely with Islam? Anyone who is interested in different interpretations and opinions? Which can be remedied easily. Yes, it does not have to be the trip to Mecca. The road to the nearest cinema screen is fully sufficient.

(Peter Gutting)

Title: The Road to Mecca – The Journey of Muhammad Asad Country of production: Austria Year of production: 2008 Length: 92 (min .) Rental: Mindjazz Pictures

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