Screening of Islamic film 'Freedom' free to public

The 50 converts to Islam who took part in the film. Photo: Supplied
The 50 converts to Islam who took part in the film. Photo: Supplied
Muslim students at the University of Otago are inviting the wider Dunedin community to view a documentary focusing on converts to Islam, who are sharing their experiences living in different countries around the world.

Freedom, directed by husband and wife team Julien Drolon and Zara Shafie, is showing in the lead-up to Ramadan, and will be open to the public free of charge on April 28 at the University of Otago Union Hall, 630 Cumberland St.

The film features entrepreneurs, educators, actors, environmentalists, lawyers, talking about subjects ranging from the environment and consumerism to spirituality and Islam more broadly.

Otago academic Abdullah Barazanchi said one of the most interesting parts of the documentary for New Zealanders would probably be an interview with a Muslim living in Christchurch.

''Three Australians are also featured, including Peter Gould, a famous graphic designer and Geoff Lawton, who is known as the father of permaculture with thousands of followers around the world.''

Dr Barazanchi said the religion had been ''unfairly misrepresented over the past two decades on mainstream media''.

''Another highlight of Freedom is that people will discover Malaysia's beautiful landscape and Masjids throughout the film, which makes the screening ... very enjoyable both from a spiritual and visual perspective.''

The documentary had been screened in eight countries before reaching New Zealand, and received an average score of 8.5 out of 10 from the Muslim audiences it was shown to, and a scoring of 8 out of 10 for the non-Muslim audiences.

''During the world screening tour of Freedom, it has become clear non-Muslim communities are keen to learn about Islam from Muslims themselves,'' Dr Barazanchi said.


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