March 23: The Preacher (Mawlana)

Posted March 2, 2018

March 23: The Preacher (Mawlana)

Metropolitan State University will host a screening of “The Preacher” as part of the Arab Film Fest 2018 Tour.

The screening will be 7 p.m. March 23, at Film Space in the Founder’s Hall Auditorium, Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul Campus. The event is free for students. Tickets are available at this website.

“The Preacher” is a a narrative  drama that tells the story of Hatem (Amr Saad), a moderate young preacher in Cairo, who becomes a television celebrity with millions of fans. This makes him a perfect tool for government manipulation on a mass scale, as his eloquence and wit are employed by key figures in the Egyptian state to influence policy and religious practice. However, when the cameras are off, bloody struggles for state power rage, and as Hatem tries to stay out of political and sectarian disputes, his personal and professional life become increasingly consumed by the complex tapestry of Egyptian politics.

Based on a novel by the same name, Mawlana by Ibirahim Issa, the story offers a critique of power, corruption, and fundamentalism in Egyptian society. In addition, this dark and convincing film highlights the importance of media in the production of political and religious agendas.

The director, Magdy Ahmed Ali, graduated with a degree in pharmacy before becoming a filmmaker. He studied filmmaking at the Higher Institute of Cinema and worked closely with directors like Muhammad Khan, Khairy Beshara, and Youssef Chahine. In 1996, Ali directed his first film Ya Dunia Ya Gharami, which won the best film and best actress awards at the Montreal World Film Festival. Mawlana is his sixth feature film.

Duration is 130 minutes, in Arabic with English subtitles.