Filmmaker Details Prophet’s Life
By David Yonke

Alex Kronemer was finishing up a documentary on the Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam, when his neatly planned project was torn apart by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“The idea [for the film] was born in 1988, when [author] Michael Wolfe and I first discussed it, and production began in July, 2000. The film was finished in July, 2002,” Mr. Kronemer said in a recent interview from Cairo, Egypt, where he was attending the World Economic Forum. “Of course, a very important date happened in between - 9/11.”
Mr. Kronemer… said he was forced to rewrite the documentary to include the terrorist attacks, but also to shift somewhat the perspective of his film, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet.
“We really did not intend to deal with war and jihad and battles,” he said. “We wanted to focus more on community building. But after 9/11, everybody was talking about wars and battles, and the film would have seemed irrelevant if we didn’t include those elements.”
Fortunately, the documentary was not finished when the 9/11 attacks shook the world and Mr. Kronemer had time to make adjustments. The program premiered on PBS-TV nationwide in December, 2002, and has been rebroadcast more than 600 times on PBS affiliates.
Mr. Kronemer, 45, who grew up in western Pennsylvania, has a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University. In 1996, he was awarded a Joseph J. Malone Fellowship for Middle East and Islamic Studies, which funded a research tour of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The filmmaker said he converted to Islam about 20 years ago and was interested in using his skills to tell the life story of founder of Islam, who was born about 570 A.D. in what is now Saudi Arabia…
(Courtesy Toledo Blade, 5/27/06



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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