41 Comments

  • DM: I think, the way i see it, that it has less to do with what is forbidden and more about the violent reaction. the young girl represents a certain innocence. she doesnt think in haram and halal as she lived in America away from the social conditioning. So she acts out of love, out of good.

    the concept is that this is what tends to always survive and overcome anyone who would rather bury, burn or rip up an idea simply because they don’t like it.

  • Salam,

    OK Dima is coming from the US , a place that teaches christianity and the Jesus is the son of God.

    She was taught that God is in a shape of a human. Right or wrong, the reaction of the teacher was far from educational.

    The West has a great way of educating and delivering the point loud and clear to the students.

    In the Middle East we are very rational and most of the time we fail in communicating to our young students.

    Resulting in our kids adapting to the Western method of communication, regardless of the validty of the messege.

    Peace

  • khaled i agree with your interpretation except for the jesus loves everyone part. as you know kids her age are not taught that in the states. the way i see her is that she is a blank slate yet to be socially conditioned by any society…and this is what she’s about to be filled with.

  • she doesnt think in haram and halal as she lived in America away from the social conditioning. So she acts out of love, out of good.

    When I was four years, living in Palestine I always wondered what God looked like and always envisioned Him in human form…so (like you relatively see it)I’m more inclined to say that this is more about the approach/method of teaching than it is about living your early years in America!

    the concept is that this is what tends to always survive and overcome anyone who would rather bury, burn or rip up an idea simply because they donâ??t like it

    Exactly …but this could also have many other dimensions…another kid could’ve responded to the reaction of the ‘teacher’ in a different way …

    The method the ‘teacher’ used is unfortunately what many teachers back home use…Educating young kids ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ or ‘haram’ from ‘halal’ should not be by scolding and isolation!

  • Iman: “Educating young kids â??rightâ?? from â??wrongâ?? or â??haramâ?? from â??halalâ?? should not be by scolding and isolation!” — I agree with that. Which is mainly why i said earlier this is only one way. There worse ways both in and out of the classroom. We look for punishment before reason, the exact opposite of the religion itself.

    Moey, ahlan…happy birthday bro.

  • Important issue and clever idea!

    Children think inocently without restrictions and we don’t know how to deal with this. When I was child I was like any other child wondering how God look like?

    It’s HARAM don’t ask this question at all nor think in it.

    They can answer simply like ” great NOUR and never any watched it..I still remeber the image I created for that.

  • allow me to paste this quote from a blog post on contemporary Arab vs Iranian cinema and the subject of taboo filmmaking, but unfortunately i don’t have an author name for:

    “Why have many contemporary Arab filmmakers embraced taboo filmmaking while Persian filmmakers did not? It’s no longer subject of debate that Iranian cinema dominates while Arab cinema stagnates. Nothing clever about breaking taboos in filmmaking. Breaking taboos in cinema has always been the easy way out for those who come short on the creativity scale. Any mediocre producer can make a film about a mother that sleeps with her son or a shepard who romances his goat or the brother who loves his sister. But take the Iranian movie the Children of Heaven and there you have world-class cinema that is based on pure intellect and pure cinematic and storytelling know-how. Give the same Iranian film synopsis to a taboo filmmaker and watch them fumble. Taboo films are coup out films, and many Arab filmmkers who failed to compete with Iranian filmmakers have went the taboo route. This is not limited to Arab cinema, but also includes the contemporary Arab song, where sexual images in video clips dominate an otherwise mediocre Arab song.”

  • So, whatâ??s the point?

    Sorry but I have to say this… the film it self is stupid (sorry) but I cant see any point, things can be done in a better way not this way!!

    Peace

  • First of all, the last 1/4 of the movie is not working.
    Anyways, I don’t see why it has to be a religious issue, Haram goes for social customs as well (which comes from religious and nonreligious believes)

    PALFORCE: Really, they do teach that in American schools? Maybe you’ve enrolled your kids in a religious school or something :D?

    Though the movie’s message is that religion and social customs shouldn’t be taught this way. God should not be someone scary who will punish you for the smallest thing and send you to hell.
    Though, just out of curiosity Nas (and everyone else), lets say your daughter/son (too soon?), your little cousins drawn a picture of Prophet Muhammad out of love? Would you tear it up and talk nicely to them? Or would you keep it and tell them it’s not appropriate?

    PS: Maybe the little girl actually drawn some racy political cartoon against the government or something, you’ll be surprised what these kids are capable of!

  • Firas, you’re options are useless and besides the point. it’s not about being nice or mean, ripping it up or keeping it. it’s about explaining why it is wrong.

    in other words, as this movie points out…more often than not, religion is thrown at children, it’s told to children, thrust upon children…it’s hardly ever explained to them.

  • isn’t it ironic how in jordan the neo-liberal elite NEVER defines breaking taboos in terms of confronting the ruling club and their massive corruption as well as the social iniquities and political injustices.

    regime icons, who are neo-liberals, reward the trashing of social customs and norms but when you point the camera at them and their corruption (which is the only unsurmountable obstacle to jordan’s progress) suddenly you get jailed or become totally marginalized. Remember Abu Odeh? he broke a taboo and all hell broke lose.

    will we see jordanian filmmakers make films where the taboos in question are those relating to the corruption of the ruling club and the social and political inequities? i am not holding my breath.

  • Let us just for a moment forget about the Halal and the Haram thing. The child in the eyes of his teacher made a mistake and he was punished for it. The way I look at is: He gets rewarded for his successes and at the same time he gets punished for his failures. The only part that I personally object to is the part that he stays locked up in a room by himself. He should have been punished right there in the classs room. The teacher could have asked him to stay in the corner with his back turned to the class. That would have been a little more humane punishment. As far as drawing God on a piece of paper, I have no idea if it is something right or wrong.

  • Nidal, I agree with you even though I feel you may be excusing destructive social norms in lieu of corruption.

    I believe there is a force of corruption in the country and that it needs to be combated. However I would not go so far as to say it is the “only unsurmountable obstacle to jordanâ??s progress”. corruption aside, there are many more problems evident in both the government and the people.

  • I think it’s a great film and it truely reflects our society. I am a 2nd grade teacher and i know that a childs mind at that youg of an age is born so white and so pure and can say all the truths that society has learned to unknow. ..It has a little to do with american culture being so understanding to the sensitivity of a childs thinking Vs. the suppression our children face from the day they were born and the ongoing conflicts with wanting to express their reactions towards the misconceptions they are raised upon. However, i think the visions reflected from that very short are beyond blaming society. They seem to be calling for a change from a situation that is no different than it could be in homes, elementary schools or even religious preachings.
    My concern is particularly with what Dima, the little girl understood just by being in such a short and asuming that she and all the other children took part especially in the drawing of God. Many of the audience might have thought for a seconed and only said” YA 7ARAM”.
    A good short…I like it alot.

  • Oh and i also love the symbolics if i may say,the last empty cryon tray, the hand of Dima wearing a fold ring and bracelet as a sign of being different or rich if i may say. Also the teacher reading the book Men are from Vinus And Women are from Mars, contradicts with her so called religious state of mind…how about Magic Words in the background on the yellow wall! Haram Vs Aktar WA7AD bet7ebboh…again al athan sayin la ilaha illa allah (to a child it is linked with Wa7ad!!!!….the list goes on .I truely loke the details.

  • Many things to point out here. First off, unfortunately this film is not well put together cinematically. It’s an interesting choice that this is what the film commission either is sponsoring or these filmmakers thinks the commission will sponsor. From a filmmaking perspective there are some issues:

    First off, this film is too slow. The cuts are too long and the cinematographer is given too much license to create beautiful images. Even doing that, he forgot the backlight compensation to shoot inside the classroom. That’s haram. Anyway, more attention should have been paid to the young actress, she’s just not there, particularly when paired with the teacher, who overacts the fire out of it. A minute of time could have been cut to communicate the same information and a better child actor brought in to make it more powerful.

    Why do we keep the shot after the teacher steps off, looking at Dima. That’s not needed, etc. Whoever is teaching film to these guys/gals needs some schooling themselves. There are some nice almost still shots but the classroom shooting has visual errors. And it needs some editing.

    This is one reason why the film loses its audience. The audio is also too prevalent. This is a movie, not a music video. The audio should not dominate the on-screen. Here, it does. More work should have been done on the script to communicate what we were seeing, but the filmmakers were too wound up building up all this drama to the image of god to really make the script work. The script fails.

    As another curious aside, why is there this comparison to America? America once might have been the home of religious freedom, but it’s not some leading light for this now. Capitalism is its religion. I don’t even see the relevance for America to be plugged in there. If Dima is this clean slate, why can’t she come up with an image of God without having been exposed to some glorious free-drawing American population?

    This film is in the gamma stage. It needs more work on the script, the camerawork and the editing. It’s not ready for prime time. But it’s headed generally in the right direction. I still wonder, why is this the subject chosen?

  • i liked it… i thought the girl drew some guy or something hehe..
    the director… is hushki… i’m just glad I saw it.. .cuz other than the video he did for QRNEC… and other than suffereing working with me.. i didn’t get to see any of his other workds:D
    thanks for posting!

  • Well in both of my “useless” suggestions, I’ve assumed that you’ll explain it to them nicely, I was more interested to know what the reaction would be: To tear it or not, and this is not useless….at least for me.

  • gang it there? hehe
    anyway, i think its more about how ,here in Jordan, according to the society some things are forbidden because they are delivered so from generation to another.. a lil girl wasnt allow to express her love to God in her own way.. just because she drew it on paper.. (i remember my bro when he was even younger drew something and said its God) Dima came from USA where she had the freedom to express her feelings in her way.. her feelings dont hurt anything but the mentality of some people here. if you know what i mean.
    great video, really

  • Salaam All,

    A very interesting video indeed, and by Jordanians.

    My first impression was; WOW … that is really beautiful…I identified absolutely with the little girl, particualrly at the end where music had its emotional play…

    After second thoughts though…I was asking myself about the message behind it…if it is as NAS said that it is about ‘explaining why it’s wrong’ then that is absolutely fine…but mind you, that might not be how everyone understood it …most viewers,as proven by the above comments, understood it to mean that we shouldn’t forbid depictions of God …. or so at least…
    …..if so then there is a problem

    I am very happy that young Jordanians are starting to break certain taboos in or society….BUT we have to be careful …what is a taboo and waht is not…..the Islamic stand on forbidding depiction of God is not a taboo…and should not be seen as such….(taboos have negative connotaions , and are usually realted to suppressionof freedom of expression or freedom of action as regards human rights)

    Islam forbids the depiction of God, as far as I know, because God in Islam is described as ‘Notghing is like Him’ in Arabic from Qura’n (laisa ka mithlihi Shai’), futher , there are 99 attributes of God, that according to scholars in the field, volumes and volumes of books could be written on only one of these attributes (or names)…

    More, Islam teaches that God is beyond Human abilities to depict.

    Also,Islamic tradition informs that people who enter Paradise, will have the utmost pleasure in Heaven of seeing God’s Face, a grace they couldn’t even imagine its pleasure.

    That said, I go back to our short video. In all my school years I was taught at a Christian school, but as a Muslim child, the idea of how God looked was there, and it was explained to us by our Muslim religion teacher, that we humans could not imagine how God looks like and that as Muslims we were instructed not to occupy ourselves with picturing God (as we, as His creatures, can’t give Him His due worth), and that we should learn how to be good people and learn virtues …etc.in order to attain God’s pleasure and satisfaction.

    As a good attempt this video is, especially the first impact it had on me or anyone, I can’t ignore the comment of the ‘informer’ above who seems more well read in film making and production. I ca only comment of the reality of the situation, as I myself did actually teach KG kids, at a Christain school as well.

    First, a KG teacher would usually sit around with the kids when doing an activity ‘circle’ and doesn’t sit quite far leaving them alone. She would also use lots of incouraging words, as opposed to asking the kid to hang his drawing, a KG teacher would usually hold up the picture show it to all and commend the child then would hang it herself in aspecial place. (probably the opposite was highlighted here to reinforce the wrong attitude of the teacher from the beginning).

    As regards, her reaction to Dima, that is very much unlikely , and I would say even in Jordan, this is where the video really loses its touch with reality…no matter how bad a reaction of a teacher is , she would definitely explain to the kid why this is not allowed, as it has been explained to most of us (Muslim kids) and I don’t think that it was an issue to us (as kids) later, and definitely as adults who have their own way of thinking….What would prevent you as a Muslim adult to draw God, unless you really know and are sure about the reason for not doing so?

    Finally, the locking of the girl , and the that fact that the girl retaliated by assembling and putting up the picture again, is extremely exaggerated even for the purpose of highlighting the message of the video(whatever that is). Besidest the American element is not related, give me a break!…if it was not acceptable to draw God and prophets in Christianity (with all due respect to my Christian friends)as the case is in Islam, this video wouldn’t even be!

    So my input here is…before you are impressed…please think again:)

  • Why do most amature Jordanian short films focus on slapstick comedy and on picking silly fights over trivial issues when there are so many serious problems in Jordan such as lack of equality and corruption and social injustice and lack of democracy, and torture. this is opportunistic filmmaking at its best and it thrives in non-democratic societies. this film is a shining example of how an opportunistic filmmaker tries to win government accolades by picking on issues with no value or substance but issues that will piss off the lower social classes who wield no power or influence while avoiding any discussion of pressing problems that could expose the horrific corruption, moral and political, of the political elite. I guess these amature filmmakers know who will have to pay for their next film. This film should be called the Color of Cash.

  • What on earth was that? Im disgusted at the fact that the Royal Film Commision sponsored this. The actress who acted as a teacher does not know how to act as a kindergarten teacher. To answer Firasâ?? question of to tear or not to tear, I would definately not tear. Iâ??m a Muslim and I would never tear such a thing and instead, I would sit and talk to the child about it without referring to any religious connotations that the child might not understand because at that stage, children should not feel confused about such things. Ruba K, I congratulate u on the perfect quote u mentioned. I watched several Iranian movies and I totally agree with that quote.

    Tina â?? I donâ??t know what society you live in because this does not reflect our society at all. Some proof would be handy ï? and since when is reading the book titled Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus a contradiction to religion ?â?? am I missing something here ?

    Itâ??s about time that some people stop saying naïve things like â??American culture is so understanding to the sensitivity of a childs thinkingâ?? or that â??american culture is more liberal and peacefulâ?? because that is plain bullshit. America has enough corruption, misconceptions and huge ethical problems that are enough to remain with it for hundreds of years. Every region in the world has its problems and should work on solving them instead of just saying they exist.

    I lived in two Arab countries and none of the people I know neither did I face any suppression or face serious misconceptions like the ones u mentioned Tina, so once again, I really do not know what society u live in. Women are viewed as sex objects in the west more than any other region in the world. Adultery has reached unprecedented percentages in America and Britain. Nevertheless, Im so grateful for the Informers following comment â??why is there this comparison to America? America once might have been the home of religious freedom, but itâ??s not some leading light for this now. Capitalism is its religion. I donâ??t even see the relevance for America to be plugged in there.â??

    Im not against America or the Western world but Iâ??m against the way some people think that the west is better and more understanding because its not, thatâ??s what the movies try to show. As for Janoâ??s comment, â??the girl came from USA where she had the freedom to express her feelings in her way. Her feelings dont hurt anything but the mentality of some people here. if you know what i mean.â? Well, that comment is pathetic. A 22 year old girl in Florida was beaten up by the police in an anti war demonstration three years ago. France banned the wearing of hijab and other countries are working on applying the same laws.

    2azmiâ??s comment is somewhat true, but just like there is corruption, social injustice and lack of democracy, and torture in Jordan, these things also exist in other societies like the American and British ones. The infinite scandals of key political figures in America, the torture in Guantanamo Bay, and the lack of democracy in the fact that several media outlets are banned to the public are all excellent examples that the West has severe problems as well.

  • For those who are enamored with the American culture just think what sort of culture constantly produces grotesque acts of mass violence just such as genocide against the natives, the largest slavery industry in the history of humanity, ethnic cleansing of Latinos (read history), nuking of civilians in japan, millions killed in Vietnam, Panama, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, support of murderous insurgencies like the Contras and the khmeir rough, support of overthrow of democracies like Iran and Chili, etc…more prisoners per capita than all of the free world.

    Please spare us your silly propaganda. American culture is Democratic Darwinism. with all the freedoms and talk about human rights and democracy, its only outstanding accomplishment are the mass graves that litter the earth and dictators who are waiting for America’s orders to repress their people in return for american protection or cash.

    The US is the most violent and dysfunctional democracy in the western world. it’s nothing more than a big mall, Mall USA with citizen militias running the show.

    So please, don’t insult us with your hogwash.

  • Were the Taleban breaking a religious Taboos when they bombed and desecrated Bhuddists statues? Was that courage because it went against norms?

    We Muslims are not Christians or Buddhists. That is that. In other religions, it’s OK to objectify God. But in Islam, it’s is not acceptable since one of the founding principles of Islam is to oppose the objectification of God, as God is beyond our comprehension physically but is known by the creations, we are instructed.

    So how about if a Muslim makes a film where a kid flushes a statue of Buddha or a picture of Christ down the toilet? Would all of you neo-liberals out there celebrate this act as courage and art and then post the film on your blogs? Would the neo-liberal critics give this filmmaker a round of applause? Would it be considered tolerance? I doubt it.

    When the Taleban bombed the Buddhas, the Muslim world protested the outrageous act of ignorance. But to congratulate a filmmaker for making a film that trashes one of Islam sacred symbols is silly.

    Again, please respect that fact Islam is not Christianity or Buddhism. To each his own. And the filmmaker is, to quote another post, is nothing more than an opportunistic filmmaker who avoids real issues and picks on issues that will endear him to the regime. I second the motion to rename film “The Color of Cash”

  • Mr Garfaan Halo, u honestly could not have put it better. Islam is not Christianity, nor Buddhism or any other religion.

  • This is not filmmaking. This is an exercise and a collage of video and sound. There is no point of view. No filmmaking craft. No script. Stop trying to imply that stuff like this has value. it’s an excercise and should remain that! it makes so much more sense to treat wanna-be filmmakers as just that. once they get better and can craft a story in film, well… that’s a while other story!

    From: not a filmmaker, but seem quite a bit!

  • Itâ??s really ironic to blame the public for not teaching Islam Right, while so-called filmmakers canâ??t put their idea in a bit more professional way. Why donâ??t u do ur part right before criticizing others, dude. I am sorry, but the film is so poor.

    And what’s with the rock music, are they tryin to look revolutionary! i just donâ??t see how they thought it fits here, really poor.

  • Very poor film, content-wise, acting-wise, production-wise.

    I agree with Seema The informer and Garfan Haalo.

    I believe that this is just an attempt to show that Islam is a retarded religion. It’s like it’s saying :”tfaddalu, THIS is Islam”.

    I’m am a Muslim and I believe in God and that we should not be going around drawing Him or the Prophets. But in Islam it also says the first seven years you play with your kids, the next seven years you teach your kids, and the other seven you befriend your kids. Meaning: at the very young ages of between 0-7 you love them, take care of them and play with them and let them express themselves (that’s what would give them high self esteem and what generates creativity). You show them kindness and compassion. So any good believer would do that before punishing a 5 year old in solitary confinement!

    These days anything portraying Islam in any negative way seems to get very popular…Ever wondered why?…

  • It was not the girls faught it was her parents, for not teaching her, her religion. Although being that the mother was not even covered it’s not hard to see why. So it was their sin not hers. Alought the teacher did not take it well in islam what the girl did haram every which way you look at it.
    P.S. In real live in an isalmic school the teacher would have probably told her it was bad to do that and informed her parents when they picked her up.

  • An interesting film, well-made, about a simple yet profound topic…picturising Allah, which is totally forbidden in Islam. Most Muslims would have a fit if a picture of Allah were presented to them. The teacher’s reaction of anger was predictable, but perhaps unacceptable. She could have spoken gently to the little girl, instead of shouting at her and locking her up. What would the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have done in such a situation to a small child? I don’t think he’d have had a fit like she did. Far worse things happened to him at the hands of the Quraysh. So a little tolerance would not have gone amiss.
    The rock music at the end I’m not too sure about….it gives a Western liberal emotive power to the piece, which maybe is not the angle the filmmakers should be taking with this one.

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