Its occasional dramatic longueurs notwithstanding, Chahine's film about the 12th century Moorish philosopher Averroës is a brave, engrossing attack on Islamic fundamentalist dogma and oppression. Averroës and his followers are shown as free-thinking liberals, the Caliph (who ordered his work burnt) a mere political pawn, but secondary to the narrative itself is the glorious, stirring (and generically traditional) use of song and dance - frowned on by the philosopher's enemies - as an energising, liberating force which embodies Chahine's notion that 'thought has wings'. Common sense and sensuality merge in the intelligent script and vibrant, colourful mise en scène to often exhilarating effect.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Youssef Chahine, Khaled Youssef|