Syrian-born filmmaker Moustapha Akkad is a legendary figure in international cinema. As a film producer and director, his greatest legacies included fearlessly diving into issues in his films ranging from the origins of Islam and Arab revolt to million-dollar grossing box office horror films.
Akkad artist didn’t shy from controversy and was arguably ahead of his time. His most controversial film, The Message, which depicts the life of the Prophet Muhammad was filmed in Arabic and English and recently made its first-ever cinema screening in the Arab world during the following Eid Al-Fitr weekend. Most notably it was the first Arabic film to hit Saudi Arabia’s new cinemas. Ironically the once controversial film which was banned in many Arab countries the 1970’s is today educating and celebrating a historic figure in Islam.
Given the polarizing views and the public discourse around Arabs and Islam, Moustapha Akkad’s The Message can help start a more truthful and open dialogue. To celebrate the release of his legendary film in the Arab world, here are some interesting facts about the iconic filmmaker.