Monday, May 11, 2009

Thoughts from a Toronto-screening audience member

Thoughts on the Film:
When I first watched the documentary on VisionTV (Canada's multifaith TV Channel), my first reaction was alarming and thought that this would create a lot of stir among people who are against the thoughts of Ismailis. Especially since the commentator states a lot about how Ismailis pray privately and without veils and divides of men & women. The reality is that this documentary is meant to educate everyone out there about a sect of Islam that has and is a sample of true Islam.

The movie also takes away the misconceptions (if any) regarding the sect that Aga Khan leads as the spiritual leader. There is a logical-systematic flow in the movie which also opens the minds of Ismailis themselves. I have been discussing the movie (piece by piece with my family, Ismaili friends, and Muslim and non-Muslim friends) and sharing my learnings that were triggered after watching this movie.

The Journey since its first release:
I then bought the DVDs and watched it with an 'outside-the-box' mindset and taking my being as an Ismaili identity out of my thoughts. I then realized that this documentary was made with intent to create dialogue and discussions. It tries to show how one of the sects of Islam is and how it has positioned itself. The facts are shared and stated. It is up to the viewers to delve deep, engage with it, and search for more knowledge.

My Wish & Hope:
Is that we have more of such documentaries with similar format and maybe a 'series' or chapter-by-chapter take on the Ismaili history. I take this current documentary as a synopsis and it gives way to future elaborated versions (era by era) to bring a dialogue of what Islam was and is.

-Salim Nensi

No comments: