Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Sultan & the Saint: New Documentary

The Sultan and the Saint, a new documentary from Unity Productions, reviews the remarkable story of how two men changed the relationship between Christians and Muslims during the Crusades.

Saint Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Malik al-Kam, risked their lives when they met on the battlefield.

During the 5th Crusade in 1219,  Francis crossed enemy lines to talk to the Muslim leader,  Al-Malik al-Kam, to try to convert him to Christianity. Although he failed in that endeavor, he initiated a friendship that would last the rest of their lives.

The belief that Muslims and Christians could live harmoniously was the basis of that friendship.

The documentary has a won a number of awards and the film's website includes an education feature in which students can view a number of scholarly perspectives on themes raised in the film.  One that I found most interesting was about the role of the brain in conflict transformation.

Emile Bruneau of the University of Pennsylvania discusses the role of the unconscious part of the brain in our behavior and the way we understand religion.

Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding and peace between between people of different faiths, especially Muslims and Christians.  They promote this understanding through film and television.

UPF has screened the film across much of the US in late 2016 and 2017. It should be available on DVD later this year!

Here is a promotion flier for the film and below you can see a trailer for it.


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