Ludovico is a precious stone merchant who trades between Europe and the Middle East. He is also an Islam convert, with Jihad as his highest religious duty, plotting a terrorist attack on an epic scale that will bring the West to its knees.
A thesis picture: is Western Europe turning a blind eye to the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism? Professor Alceo Bandini believes so. He writes and lectures to a few students at a Roman university; he's also a victim of a terrorist attack in Kenya where he lost both legs. On a short holiday in Cappadoccia with his wife Leda, they meet Shahid, an enigmatic cleric, and Ludovico Vicedomini, a forceful gem merchant. Back in Rome, Ludovico attempts the seduction of Leda while Alceo is suspicious of his new acquaintances' politics. The police counter-terrorists discount Alceo's fears: he's paranoid and jealous, they believe. What is going on?Written by
Even amateurs produce better movies these days. The dubbing of the characters is so awful it reminds you of the sleazy Italian movies of the 70s and 80s where content had no place in the movie, and sex scenes were everything. This is repeated in this movie, and makes it devoid of any artistic merit. The characters' motives are masked at best, and there are too many uncomfortable 'coincidences'.
The acting is bad beyond belief. And the subject is not researched at all. A 13 year old history student can teach a lot more than our 'professor' in the movie. There is no knowledge of the way Islam spread. The professor equates Ottoman Empire with the Moors and the previous Caliphates, where in many cases these were antagonistic entities. And the professor forgets to mention that the wars between Muslims and Christians started with the crusades where the Vatican tried to 'repossess' the 'Holy land'; an extension of the wars fought by the Roman Empire. The movie also fails to state that the Inquisition and the church terrorized people for centuries, and it was only by repeated defeats of the Crusaders at the hands of Muslim army that the break in Vatican rule materialized, and the flow of scientific, philosophical and artistic material from Muslim countries into the Church dominated lands began leading to 'Renaissance' and the Age of Enlightenment.
F. Murray Abraham is over the top as usual anyway, but the only regret is having Harvey Keitel staining his image in this manner. My take on this movie: pure garbage.
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