Facets Video Finds Art in Religion12 Oct, 2003 By: Brendan Howard
While Milos Stehlik, director of Facets Video, says the supplier focuses on art-house films and not necessarily religious films, religion is still a theme of so many great films Facets finds.
Take The Decalogue, for instance.
“It's from a now-dead filmmaker [Krzysztof Kieslowski] who was an agnostic,” Stehlik said. “The takeoff point is the 10 Commandments, but he's not coming at it from a [believer's] perspective. What he's doing is examining what religion really is.”
The lengthy Polish dramatic series is subtitled in English on a $79.95 DVD set.
The book of Genesis and the story of the Three Wise Men comes into play in Keep Walking, an Italian film made by Ermanno Olmi, a Christian Humanist.
“It is perhaps the most directly religious of his films, but it's always examining it from the lives of very ordinary people,” he said.
Keep Walking streets Oct. 21 at $29.95 on VHS and DVD.
Stehlik is also excited about a five-part documentary on two DVDs, Mohammed the Prophet, streeting Oct. 28 (prebook Oct. 7) at $59.95.
“One of the things that's really deadly to me in a documentary is the talking head, when the person with the most authority [narrates the whole film],” he said. “One of the things I really like about Mohammed the Prophet is, it's narrated by a variety of people. You'll see in one shot an academic who's a professor in Islamic studies, which is then continued by a Sunday school teacher, which is continued by an ordinary person.
“Through the history of Mohammed, it offers a very moving insight into Islam,” he said, adding that it's particularly relevant today with the war in Iraq. “In Iraq, we hear about the splits between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims,” he said. Viewers will see how and why the split happened.