“Mawlana” (The Preacher), an Egyptian movie written by Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Eissa narrating the journey of a young sheikh in a governmental mosque who moves from leading prayers to becoming a TV celebrity, will be screened on March 23 at the Metropolitan State University Film Space in Saint Paul, US.
The screening is part of the Mizna Arab Film Festival’s 2018 Tour, St. Paul Edition, which kicks off on 26 January and includes screenings of five films from the Arab World.
The 2016 drama is an adaptation of a 2012 novel with the same. Eissa co-wrote the film’s script with director Magdy Ahmed Ali.
Hatem al-Shennawi (played by Amr Saad), is seen through the movie to be issuing “fatwas” that are accepted by millions who have become fans of his as a result of his courage and his attempts to deviate from the usual religious rhetoric in a society heavily influenced by fundamentalism.
Sheikh Hatem finds himself caught in a complex network of conflict as security institutions are viewed trying to control him and use his vulnerabilities into exploiting him to serve their interests.
Mizna is a forerunner on the Arab American art scene, publishing a journal since 1999 and hosting film festivals and other events. It is also one of the main contributors behind the annual Twin Cities Arab Film Festival that takes place in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.