By freshouttatime
whats the equivalent of blaxploitation for Islam and the Muslim world? I don't think orientalism fits perfectly, since we're talking about a media genre/phenomena, but its along the same thread. Of the two critiques I've read about this movie, neither mentioned the movie's failure to portray muslims as real people. Instead they painted us as subservient, emotional, irrational and dumb, and inclined towards violence. Fanatical would also be appropriate given the twisted logic of the Mahdi. Through this movie the Mahdi apparently does the bidding of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who is dead, but comes to him in visions telling him to strike fear in the hearts of all "Islam" and then reign supreme. All infidels will be killed.
What this movie failed to address, was how colonialism had done its worse to the Sudanese, who were deprived of money, food, housing and all the basic needs for people in society. This discrimination was lent a face with the British occupation of Egypt and its subsequent control over Sudan and Khartoum. Khartoum was once the intellectual center of the African Muslim Empire. Or am i thinking Timbuktu? I remember Khartoum has some significance. To understand the British is to read "the White man's burden" and attempt to empathize with the occupiers as they set order to the world with themselves yielding the most benefit.
So the resistance movement of the Mahdi was a nationalistic, indegenous movement against foreign invaders, who for the most part failed to improve life of the native people and in fact exploited their resources and disrupted the order of their daily lives. But of course its 1966 we're in Vietnam, African Americans are looking for civil rights and South America and Africa are undergoing waves of independence. So its logical for a Western movie to portray something from the past where the actions are noble and the cause is just.
other itty things, Khaleel the servant of our hero Gordan cannot fathom why Jesus would say turn the other cheek. Revenge and violence is in his very essence. But then again neither could Gordon, but Gordon was the only sympathetic figure a man lost between his ideals for a better world and the harsh reality of politics and resistance. The muslims were overjoyed for the support of the British and feared the Mahdi to no end. The Mahdi himself was fanatical, vowing to kill every Egyptian and those who oppose him. And the movie had the audacity to give these characteristics to the Mahdi. Astaghfiruallah. The prayer scene was awkward as was all the mini interactions between the Muslims and the West. Great movie for understanding the orientalist mentality. Charlton Heston delivers again as the hero of the white man.

Where's the movie telling about the misdeeds of the west? oh wait occupation 101, but that's taboo for now.