Georg Misch: A Road to Mecca

… with the subtitle, The Journey of Muhammad Asad. Who was originally Leopold Weiss, Jewish, born in Austria, but converted to islam in the 1920’s and became, as said by a Palestinian on the West Bank, ”an enlightened Islamic thinker, a great scholar”, still today worshipped for his contribution to a modern understanding of the Quran, that he late in his life (he died in 1992) translated and interpreted in a way that made his version banned in many places.

The title of the film refers to his book about islam – and the subtitle to a book he wrote and to the structure of a film, that takes the viewer to the places where the cosmopolite Asad went: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan (he became the first UN representative of the country), USA, Morocco, Spain. The film crew meets people who knows about Asad or have met him, they interpret his importance, what he has meant for them, at the same time as the story of his life is told. He rode the camel, he lived with the bedouins, he helped the constitution of Pakistan to come to life, he talked against extremism, and had quite a different, non-militant interpretation of jihad.

A lot of respect for this well made thought provoking, rich and multi-layered film that must be a very useful and intelligent visual tool for debate in the world of today.

Austria, 2008, 92 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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