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Showing posts from June, 2012

Movie Critic Review: Haile Gerima's Teza (2008)

Africa's GotLensesWhat relationship can an activist-minded citizen hope to maintain with his country?" "Humanity mandates that each of us have the right to own our past." OK! A five-part series on a Hollywood movie, albeit with Eastern atmospheres of spirituality and martial arts? That was kind of hard! A big thank you to writer/author Muhsin Khalid for his insight on the foundations of "The Last Airbender". He has pointed out a lot of signs and signifiers from various world religions and mythology. He only confirmed the richness of the cinematic image as it documents virtually everything in a fraction of time.We are looking forward to his article on "Khartoum" an historical epic movie in which two great actors had history twisted for them to have a confrontation that never happened in real life! (Why is it deemed so important to have the opposite characters, the protagonist and antagonist, meet in order for a dramatic high to be reached? Almost i…

Movie Critic Article (5/5): On The Last Airbender

Shades of Philosophy in The Last AirbenderArticle by: Muhsin Khalid*Part Five




Back to our question: why the hero of this film is a child.
In my assessment, this reading of the film deduces and sometimes invents philosophical shades for the movie in a structure parallel to it that does not answer this question but takes us into the details of the Leviticus, one of the books of the Old Testament.
In the book of Leviticus there is the story of the two brothersNadab and Abihu, sonsof Aaron
of whom the verses of the Old Testamentread: {1- And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron,
took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange
fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2- And there went out fire from the Lord,
and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.} Leviticus, 10: 1-2.
First, think thoroughly of the issue of offerings (to God), and tie it to the earlier two offerings
made by Adam's sons Cain and Abel where only the off…

Movie Critic Article (4/5): On The Last Airbender

Shades of Philosophyin "The Last Airbender" Original Article by Muhsin Khalid*
Part Four
Our previous questions at the end of part three have positive answers to them. Leviticus of the Bible can provide a lot of inspiration in this matter. The purpose of recalling all these religious, philosophical, historical and legendary materials  is to prove that the origin of all these human conceptions, as I see it, must have been one and the same niche. The ancient Egyptian concept of relating the start of life to water can help explain all subsequent conceptions, which branched or evolved from this vision or was inspired by it. This vision, in my view, clearly bears reference to the story of Noah.


SoThales' (635 B.C.) principle ofthe basic unity as the origin of existence which is evident in his famous mantra (water is the origin of all things) is nothing but an ideaderived fromthis first Pharaonicspring of water chaos or Nu from which the god Atum came into being.Ancient Pharaoni…

Movie Critic Article (3/5): On The Last Airbender

Shades of Philosophy in The Last Airbender Original Article by Muhsin Khalid
Part Three
The Sanskrit legend has it that the fish Matsya killed the demon guardian of the spirit in order to save Manu or Adam the forefather of all men and the first king on earth.  But this Indian legend relates Manu to the flood, which makes him the equivalent of Noah in the three major or Abrahamic religions of the world. The pleasant coincidence is that the young actor who portrayed the avatar in this movie has a similar  name though  pronounced slightly differently. His real name is Noah Ringer. This name, Noah, is known as the name of the prophet of the flood. Of his story the Qur'an narrates that his vessel docked on the "Judi" which is accounted for by interpreters of the Qur'an as the name for a  mountain  whereas  the Sanskrit legend says this took place on the mountain of Malaya. The legend goes on to say, comparably to the Qur'an, that Manu was at the bottom of…

Movie Critic Article (2/5): On The Last Airbender

Shades of Philosophy in The Last Airbender2010 Original Article by Mohsen Khaled* Part Two

By defining the term avatar, we will know the essential difference between such gods as Atum and Shu, whom I have called airbenders only to facilitate understanding, and the avatar? These approaches and reflections would also be of benefit to my earlier proposition on cultural foci for human civilization in which I have postulated that the unifying role of the sciences necessitated the assigning of a cultural habitat from which all cultures were generated and this would be the native land of Sudan. This is attainable by examining what lies in this intellectual heritage of myths, puzzles, tales and allegories whether they be analogous or dissimilar.
In any case, the term "avatar" is taken from the Sanskrit, the old Indo-Aryan language and denotes the gods that descend from heaven to earth and become manifest or unveiled in the Qur'anic manner as when Moses asked to see the face of Go…