wed 13/12/2017

Islam

The Prince of Nothingwood review - come for the man, stay for the country

In the most unlikely of places, there is one of the world’s most prolific directors. He has produced over 110 films, he’s mobbed wherever he goes, and he inspired people through the darkest of civil wars; yet outside of Afghanistan, no-one knows the...

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Reza Aslan: God - A Human History review - on being 'sapiens', and believing

It is not just the season of holidays and holy days in the monotheistic religions; the art galleries and museums are busy reminding us of worlds beyond, with Imagining the Divine at the Ashmolean in Oxford, and Living with Gods at the British Museum...

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CD: Cat Stevens/Yusuf - The Laughing Apple

When, in 2006, Yusuf announced his return to music, speculation was rife as to how he might now sound. At first, the music felt gentle and touchy-feely. Then came 2014's Tell 'Em I'm Gone – a strutting, blues record full of attitude. More...

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The State, Channel 4 review - dishonest portrait of British jihadis

It’s a burning question of western civilisation: what persuades young people brought up among us to walk out on their lives and join the cult of murderous fanatics who call themselves Islamic State? If any dramatist could attempt a coherent answer...

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The Big Sick review - enchanting romcom about mixed marriages

The Big Sick is an enchanting film from the Judd Apatow comedy production line. Don’t be put off by the terrible title. There are two forms of sickness on display in the story of Kumail Nanjiani, a Pakistani American who plays himself in his own...

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10 Questions for Adeel Akhtar: 'The first form of defiance is to laugh'

Earlier this year Adeel Akhtar won the BAFTA for best actor. In Murdered By My Father, he gave a heartbreaking performance as the widowed father of a daughter who goes against his desire to arrange an advantageous marriage for her. In a nuanced...

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Clash review - 'a nation in crisis'

An Egyptian/French co-production directed by Egyptian film-maker Mohamed Diab, Clash is a fevered, chaotic attempt to portray some of the tangled undercurrents that fuelled Egypt’s “Arab Spring” and its subsequent unravelling. Knowing something...

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The Kite Runner, Wyndhams Theatre

Khaled Hosseini's 2003 bestseller ticks all the boxes as an A-level text. A personal story with epic sweep, it interweaves the bloody recent history of Afghanistan with a gripping family saga. Its treatment of racism and radicalism is timely. Other...

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Sunday Book: Nadeem Aslam - The Golden Legend

Elegant literary romance and contemporary jihadism are unlikely bedfellows. Yet British-Pakistani novelist Nadeem Aslam has now written a third novel combining the two. While The Blind Man’s Garden (2013) and The Wasted Vigil (2008) were partially...

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Mobydick: North Africa's outrageous rapper

A couple of years ago I saw an extraordinary outdoor concert where a rapper called Muslim (great name if you want to be hard to find on Google) performed at the Timitar Festival in Agadir in the South of Morocco to 80,000 delirious fans. The song...

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The Invisible Hand, Tricycle Theatre

In the long tradition of fictional characters who embody their monikers, the naming of Nick Bright hardly counts as the most colourful, but it has a sardonic edge. Clearly the young American banker at the centre of Ayad Akhtar’s tight political...

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A Hologram for the King

Tom Hanks is reaching world treasure status, like some third-century heritage site protected by UNESCO. His everyman allure makes him today’s only equivalent to James Stewart. Stewart shocked fans when he played a vengeful man-hunter in Winchester '...

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