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Saudi to screen 'The Message' four decades after ban

AFP  |  Dubai 

"The Message", Moustafa Akkad's epic about Prophet Mohammed, will be screened for the first time in Saudi cinemas on Thursday -- four decades after an initial ban.

"Knowing that there were so many difficulties... , now that they're showing it in the theatres I couldn't be happier," Akkad's son told AFP.

The 1976 has been widely-watched in the Arab world since its release. But it was banned in the land of Islam's holiest sites and boycotted by conservatives for its depiction of the prophet and his companions.

"It caused a lot of controversy and there were a lot of obstacles put in its way," said Akkad's son, Malik Moustafa Akkad, noting it remains banned in

lifted a longstanding ban on cinemas last year, part of an easing of social restrictions pushed by

Saudi theatres will now screen a restored version of the 1976 epic, produced from the film's original negatives.

"Even if you've seen the film, you've never seen it look this good," said Akkad's son. The late "always intended it to be a big-screen event. And that's the way to see it", he added.

Profits from the screenings will support a scholarship fund for filmmakers from the region to study at Moustafa Akkad's alma mater, the University of

The Aleppo-born perished with his daughter in the 2005 hotel bombings claimed by that cost dozens of lives.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 01:10 IST