The Time is Now? is a series of screenings of Black and Asian films from 1980s-today curated by June Givanni. Read more >>
During this event we will screen two films relating to Sufism, a concept in Islam defined by scholars as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. Others contend that it is a perennial philosophy of existence that pre-dates religion, the expression of which flowered within the Islamic religion.
We are very fortunate to have a special preview screening of the new Jamal brothers' film Rahm, which will be officially released in the UK later this year. It's also, a rare opportunity to see the short film Utterance made 27 years ago by Birmingham filmmaker Pervaiz Khan featuring the Sufi music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, which will be shown before the feature film Rahm.
The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with director Ahmed Jamal and writer/producer Mahmood Jamal, chaired by June Givanni (Pan African Cinema Archive).
Utterance (1990) dir. Pervaiz Khan
A film about Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-1997), a Pakistani musician and leading singer of Qawwali, which is the devotional music of the Sufis and Sufism (the inner mystical dimension of Islam). Extending the 600-year old Qawwali tradition of his family, Khan is widely credited with introducing Qawwali music to international audiences.
Rahm (Mercy) (2016) dir. Ahmed Jamal
A Sufi adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Measure for Measure is described as ‘a plea for tolerance from the heart of the Muslim World’. A virtuous woman has to choose between her honour or saving her brother’s life in a story of reconciliation and forgiveness. In Urdu and in Arabic, 'rahm' means mercy, compassion. The film, like the play, explores justice and mercy, strength and tyranny, individual courage and complex moral choices. 'A plea for tolerance from the heart of the Muslim world', Rahm could hardly be more timely. Adapted for the screen by writer and producer Mahmood Jamal who asserts that when Shakespeare wrote Measure for Measure, the historical situation in England was similar to that of the contemporary Muslim world – with the Puritans of Shakespeare’s days finding their equivalent in the Islamists of today with their obsession with punishment and uniformity of belief, almost a suffocating denial of diversity.
Free, The Space
2 - 5pm
Unfortunately, for reasons beyond our control, we are unable to show the film Maila (1982) on this occasion as it was initially programmed. However when the filmmaker, Salmaan Peerzada is able to be present, we look forward to a rare screening of this film in the not too distant future.