Islam

Inspired by the real life murder of Ahmet Yildiz, filmmakers Caner Alper and Mehmet Binay set out to tell the story of a friend who was believed to be killed by his father for being in a homosexual relationship. The result is Zenne (or Zenne Dancer) which focuses on three disparate characters forging a friendship that challenges at least one of them to come to terms with who he is. According to Reuters, that’s not all it’s challenging. At least one newspaper in the largely Muslim country has decried the movie as “homosexual propaganda” made by people trying to “legitimiz[e] perversion through their so-called art.” This comes on the heels of the movie winning 5 awards at Turkey’s most respected film festival, the Antalya Golden Orange – including Best First Feature and Best Cinematography. Check out the trailer:

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Homecoming writer/director Sean Hackett discusses a brave new distribution technique, and Koran By Heart documentarian Greg Barker takes us to Cairo during Ramadan. Plus, Landon Palmer culture wars against Movies.com‘s dapper senior editor Pete Hall in a Movie News Pop Quiz that will probably cause your living room to burst into flame. Download This Episode

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A young child sits in a modest seat in front of a computer and a room full of expectant people. He presses a button, and the computer tells him where to begin reciting from and where to stop. What happens next is an incredible string of intonations and harmonious poetry that sail out with eyes closed. It’s a stunning feat of memorization, and a testament to the beauty of an ancient language and text. This is the world’s oldest Koran memorization contest, and in Koran By Heart, director Greg Barker tells a sweetly compelling story about three of the youngest competitors.

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They wouldn’t be there if they weren’t guilty. That’s the prevailing mindset of almost everyone in Love Crimes of Kabul, even the women who find themselves in jail in Afghanistan’s capital. In the documentary, director Tanaz Eshaghian gets out of the way to let the stories of three women in Badam Bagh Women’s Prison speak for themselves. The application of fly-on-the-wall style produces a small window into a world that’s almost completely open to interpretation and might serve as a Rorschach Test for its viewers.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
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