Film-work · Religion

Film on American Muslims can help Europe understand Islam

Source: BBC
Source: BBC

By Frankie Martin

Published on Huffington Post (9/16/09)

Last week I attended the European premiere of the film Journey into America at the Culture and Cultures International Film Festival near Toulouse in Southern France.

The film, which premiered in Washington DC on July 4th, is the result of a nine month cross-country trip I took to study Islam in America with Professor Akbar Ahmed of American University and a team of young Americans.

Upon arriving in France it was apparent that similar debates and controversies surrounding the religion were raging. France, like the rest of Europe, is clearly having problems with its Muslim minority.

Our film’s director, Craig Considine, and I were welcomed by festival director Denis Piel, a former photographer for Vogue and director of the film Love is Blind. Piel had started the festival to facilitate dialogue between different world cultures.

Nestled in a medieval village in the French countryside, we ate delicious international food and watched four films a day from all corners of the world. One of the viewing locations was Piel’s Chateau de Padies, an elegant 13th century castle-like home that was once occupied by Napoleon’s biographer who accompanied him to St. Helena Island.

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