“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Jesus comes to Philadelphia via Tehran

Jesus with blonde locks.

Film festivals give an opportunity for filmmakers to display some of their more exotic and creative, if not commercially viable, artistic works. I have often enjoyed small films with unknown actors, low budgets and off-off Hollywood. The 17th Philadelphia Film Festival is in progress and is featuring an Iranian film, “Jesus, the Spirit of God”. I have not seen this film, but I suspect that we will hear more about it. It is in Persian with English sub-titles. The film portrays Jesus from the Muslim perspective which includes the belief that it was not Jesus who was crucified, but Judas. The title, “Jesus, the Spirit of God”, is in itself a telling diversion. Interesting.

TEHRAN Times --
Acclaimed movie “Jesus, the Spirit of God” directed by Nader Talebzadeh was screened at the Cinema of the Muslim Worlds section of the 17th Philadelphia Film Festival on Friday.

“Jesus, the Spirit of God” which is in Persian with English subtitles was screened on Saturday for the second time and its third day program will be on Monday.

According to American critic Raymond Murray, “Jesus, the Spirit of God” is one of the more unusual entries in this year’s festival.

“Jesus, the Spirit of God” is an Iranian drama on the life and works of Jesus Christ as recounted in the scriptures of the Holy Quran. The result is a serious, non-polemical and thought-provoking look at the man who Christians revere as the Son of God, and Muslims see as a holy man sent to the Earth to announce the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (S).

“The film seeks to find the common ground among Christians and Muslims. Director Nader Talebzadeh sees his movie as an Islamic answer to Western productions like Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’, a film he has publicly praised but sees as quite simply ‘wrong’. This is especially evident in the film as it depicts the Muslim belief that Jesus was not crucified, but rather it was Judas who was hung on the cross. The film presents Jesus with a fair complexion and dark blond hair, and his preaching is recounted in a serious fashion.”

“Jesus, the Spirit of God” was presented the “In Memory of Don Silvio Franch” award at the 10th Religion Today Film Festival, which was held in Trento, Italy from October 6 to 20, 2007.

The 17th Philadelphia Film Festival hosts films from 49 countries. The event opened with “Young@Heart” by director Stephen Walker on April 3 and will close on April 15 with “Patti Smith: Dream of Life” by director Steven Sebring.

“Buddha Collapsed out of Shame” directed by Hana Makhmalbaf is another Iranian entry in the Cinema of the Muslim Worlds section.


  1. Blasphemy. Let's riot, burn some stuff down.

  2. Watching a Muslim movie about the Lord Jesus would be like watching an atheist Narnia, like The Golden Compass, So I'll pass.

  3. Islam is a reaction to Rome. If there was no Rome, there would be no Islam.

  4. Chimp Outsmarts Peanut

  5. Methuselah: Islam is a reaction to Rome. If there was no Rome, there would be no Islam.

    Another case of blame the victim. If there was no Rome, there would have been no 70 year old Italian nun for those two Somali gunmen to shoot in the back four times in 2006 in response to Sheikh Abubukar Hassan Malin urging Muslims to find the pontiff and punish him for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and Allah in a speech that he said was as offensive as author Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses. So it's Rome's fault for having the temerity to exist.

  6. I don't consider Rome a victim. And frankly, I think that anyone who does needs to have their head examined. Same, as it applies to Islam. These two aggressive beastials deserve one another.

  7. I got to admit, I don't follow your reasoning in those statements, Mat.

  8. This Article says Sadr and the Mahdi army are getting the crap kicked out of them.

  9. Bob,

    How many nations did Rome put to the cross? How many nations did Islam put to the sword?

  10. Well sure, but one gets the feeling mo himself knew little beyond his desert compound, when he was in direct contact with the allmighty.

    How many Cannanites were slain by the Israelites:)

  11. Which reflects poorly on the allmighty.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Bob,

    You could not have lived in that time and in that place and not know Rome. Muhmud sent letters to Rome/its outposts.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. "How many Cannanites were slain by the Israelites:) Which reflects poorly on the allmighty."

    And what does not reflect poorly on the Almighty?

  17. Bob,

    Here's something that reflects well on germany:


  18. Mat said...
    "Islam is a reaction to Rome. If there was no Rome, there would be no Islam."
    Sun Apr 06, 10:12:00 AM EDT
    The Romans were Italians, which means they were European, which means they were white -and the Romans ran everything in Jesus' country.

  19. Doug: The Romans were Italians, which means they were European, which means they were white -and the Romans ran everything in Jesus' country.

    2164th said "booty call" we might as well start with the Italian Boot.

  20. Whoaaa! That's my mechanic, we bin workin' on the combine--just coveralls, coversomes, that's what we wear, when we're workin'.

  21. "Whoaaa! That's my mechanic, we bin workin' on the combine.."

    Hand over the wretch. I'll fix that concubine in no time.

  22. "Wouldn't it be neat if you could just put them out?" said Warren Zapol, the head of anesthesiology at Harvard University's Massachusetts General Hospital.

    One option would be to cool the crew cabin into a big chill. But body temperatures below 30 Celsius (86 degrees F) can disturb the heart's rhythm.

    Another possibility would be to have the astronauts breathe swamp gas.

    Space Travel

  23. You take the wretch. I'll take the wench with the wrench.

  24. The turning point came on Christmas 1992 with the opening of "The Crying Game." The Esquire had an exclusive eight-week run of the wildly hyped movie, which would go on to be nominated for six Academy Awards.

    It would become the theater's best-selling film since the re-opening.

    They were saved.

    Success Stories

  25. Mark Penn, chief strategist for Hillary Clinton, was fired for working on a NAFTA-like deal with Columbia. Clinton is opposing all NAFTA-like deals this year, and she gets very upset at suggestions that she ever pushed NAFTA-like deals when she was co-President.

  26. Penn has come under criticism for other Burson-Marsteller clients, including tobacco giant Philip Morris and corporate clients accused of union-busting activity. While Penn says he does not personally work on any accounts that could be construed as anti-labor, labor leaders have publicly expressed concern about his involvement with the campaign.

    According to Justice Department filings, Colombia agreed last year to pay Burson-Marsteller $300,000 to help "educate members of the U.S. Congress and other audiences" about the trade deal and secure continued U.S. funding for the $5 billion anti-narcotics program Plan Colombia.

    The Colombian government announced Saturday it had fired Burson-Marsteller after Penn apologized for meeting with its representatives, saying his statement conveyed a "lack of respect" for the country.

    Senior Strategist

  27. Clinton is opposing all NAFTA-like deals this year,

    Clinton is opposing all NAFTA-like deals in public this year,

    That's the same as Obama, isn't it?Didn't he tell the American people one thing, and the Canadians another?

  28. Does anybody know how/why it is that the muzzies put Judas on the cross? I understand it's in their book. Was this an idea current at the time? I wonder what mo was thinking--not that he was thinking, exactly,-- to put this 'revelation' out.

    I see it's a move to downgrade Jesus and so forth, but it seems an odd way of going about it.

  29. Why not have someone else on the cross, why Judas?

  30. In both cases, of course, the candidates' secret position represents a huge improvement over their public pronouncements.

    Oscar Wilde said it best:

    "I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy."

    Dems and Trade

  31. BobalThat's the same as Obama, isn't it?Didn't he tell the American people one thing, and the Canadians another?

    Everybody is having a change of heart this year.

    “But an equally breathtaking turnabout occurred earlier in the year, when Mr. McCain embraced the Bush tax cuts he had once denounced as an unaffordable giveaway to the rich. In an interview with National Review, Mr. McCain justified his reversal by saying, ‘Tax cuts, starting with Kennedy, as we all know, increase revenues.’” [New York Times, 10/9/07]

  32. And what do they say about the remainder of the life of Jesus? If he didn't die on the cross, when and where did he die, and what was he up to during the time of the death of Judas on the cross and when he really did die? They probably have answers to this, but I don't know what they are.

  33. Everybody is having a change of heart this year.

    Or talking out their mouth and arse at the same time.

    Sure is sickening.

    It appears McCain at least has changed in the correct direction, because increasing the capital gains tax, doubling it or more, as Obama wants to do, will lead to less revenue to give away to his supporters. Obama ought to just be up front and say he wants the factory, the firm, the finances, the farm to redistribute as he thinks fair and just. Actually, he is saying just that, the more I think about it.

  34. Larry is reporting that

    12 Suicide Bombers Murdered by U.S. Troops

    In the early morning hours of Sunday, March 23, twelve Muslim men met quietly at a mosque in the Iraqi province of Diyala, perhaps to bid their final farewells to friends and family. Their nose hairs trimmed, monobrows plucked, and testicles cleanly shaven in accordance with Holy Quran, they had prepared themselves to make a dignified journey into the afterlife. Suddenly, and without even reading them their rights, Coalition Forces stormed the building and gunned them down in cold blood.

    Where is the outrage?

    Most of us would be appalled if U.S. soldiers burst in and mowed down our ailing grandmother just as Dr. Kevrokian was hooking her up to his wonderful gizmo. Yet no one bats an eye when it happens to TWELVE innocent - and let's not forget suicidal men. If the gung-ho, trigger-happy, baby-killing fascists had just practiced a little self-restraint and waited another hour or two, they could've saved themselves a lot of time and valuable ammo. But thanks to our troops, twelve members of the Muslim community were denied Death With Dignity, and 876 virgins are now standing in the unemployment line.

  35. Carlton Heston could drive a mean chariot. Chariots the article mentions in Mesopotamia, but they may have been an Aryan invention. The Hyksos, who invaded Egypt, who ruled without Ra, maybe around the time of the Israelites in Egypt, seem to have used the chariot. Some people used to call Cadillacs chariots.

  36. And how is it the moslems affirm the virgin birth of Jesus, and say mo had a human father and mother? Do I have this right? If so, someone might suggest a weak reed here, given the general human propensity to attribute a higher power to the god begotten than to the human.

  37. He resigned from Actors Equity, claiming the union’s refusal to allow a white actor to play a Eurasian role in “Miss Saigon” was “obscenely racist.” He attacked CNN’s telecasts from Baghdad as “sowing doubts” about the allied effort in the 1990-91 Gulf War.

    At a Time Warner stockholders meeting, he castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album that purportedly encouraged cop killing.

    Heston wrote in “In the Arena” that he was proud of what he did “though now I’ll surely never be offered another film by Warners, nor get a good review in Time. On the other hand, I doubt I’ll get a traffic ticket very soon.”

    Age 84

  38. Idaho Latino Gang Member Sentenced to Life

    Idaho Latino Gang Member Not Sentenced to Life

    Judge Cheri Copsey, peace be upon her, was trying to give society a break. If they'd only ever just kill one another, as in this case....

  39. Police had few surprises when their study of crime locations produced 36 hot spots across Charlotte.


    Violent crime is relatively rare in the North. Of the three hot spots, only the Sunset Road/Interstate 77 area has experienced a moderate number of robberies and assaults.


    Violent crime is a bigger problem in this division, at all three hot spots -- North Tryon/Tom Hunter and Sugar Creek/I-85, and Barrington/Milton.

    Hot Spots

  40. What's up, Sam? Odd story.

    Gang attacks Australian school: police

    Students and a teacher were treated for minor injuries Monday after five young men armed with baseball bats and a machete invaded a high school in Sydney, police said.
    Merrylands High School in west Sydney's went into "lockdown" with pupils confined to their classes as the intruders assaulted students, smashed windows and damaged rooms before police arrived and arrested them.

    "Police were called to the high school on Sherwood Road following reports a number of males had entered the school grounds," a police spokeswoman said.

    "They allegedly damaged a number of classrooms (and) a number of students received minor injuries.

    "Some were assaulted by the group and others received injuries from the flying glass."

    The spokeswoman said she could not comment on whether the five males were students, former students, or unrelated to the school.

    There was no immediate word on their motives.

    One student was admitted to hospital for treatment of a minor facial injury and a teacher was taken to hospital with bruising to the back of the head, an ambulance service spokesman said.

    "We've assessed 18 school-aged children ... all having minor injuries, some lacerations, some bruising and they're obviously quite anxious about what has happened," the spokesman said.

    The regional director of the New South Wales education department, Tom Murie, said he did not believe those arrested were students at Merrylands High School.

    "At this stage we don't believe they're school students," Murie told a radio interviewer, adding there was no information about the alleged offenders' ages.

  41. G'day Bob. Haven't heard that story yet. Crazy world, ain't it?