Koran by Heart

Qur’an Manuscript, Volume16, China, 18th century. Private Collection.

(2011, dir. Greg Barker, 90 mins., NR)

This enthralling documentary follows three 10-year old contestants of the world’s oldest recitation competition, where they are expected to recite all 600 pages of the Koran. Through impeccable storytelling, director Greg Barker not only captures the drama and pageantry of human competition in a fascinating setting, but also manages to delve rather deeply into bigger issues and themes. Both inspirational and engaging, the Hollywood Reporter called this film an exceptional “survey of the unique experience of Muslim children through the world.”

This film is part of the series New Cinema from the Middle East, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Beauty & Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture; made possible by a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Other films in the series include: The Noise of Cairo (November 3) and The White Meadows (December 8).

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