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Bilal: A New Breed of Hero
Bilal: Keine Ketten können ihn halten / Slave War / Bilal: A Legend Breaks Free

United Arab Emirates 2015
produced by
Ayman Jamal, Arif Jilani (executive), Gene Lim (executive), Andrea Iervolino (executive), Monika Bacardi (executive) for Barajoun Entertainment
directed by Khurram H. Alavi, Ayman Jamal (co)
starring the voices of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, China Anne McClain, Jacob Latimore, Ian McShane, Cynthia Kaye McWilliams, Andre Robinson, Dave B. Mitchell, Fred Tatasciore, Al Rodrigo, Mick Wingert, Sage Ryan, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jon Curry, Michael Gross
story by Ayman Jamal, screenplay by Alexander Kronemer, Michael Wolfe, Khurram H. Alavi, Yassin Kamel, music by Atli Örvarsson, animation supervisors: Jayesh Yatgiri, Adirudh Iyer, CGI supervisor: Belal Salem, visual effects supervisor: Oliver Arnold

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Arabia, The late 500s/early 600s: Bilal (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and his sister Ghufaira (Cynthia Kaye McWilliams), born free, are enslaved by Umayya (Ian McShane), who at first doesn't even seem too bad of a master - until he and his fellow slaves receive the message from early Islam that all humans are equal ... and he starts to dream, and starts a quiet revolution, which almost gets his head cut off until Hamza (Dave B. Mitchell) buys him from Umayya - but fails to buy Bilal's sister as well, which makes Bilal swear revenge. Fortunately, Hamza is with a movement to free all slaves and has only "bought" Bilal because he saw some extraordinary qualities in him that would have gone lost had he tried to get him any other way, and now he trains him to be a warrior against injustice - and injustice is something Bilal has experienced more than enough of. But can all the ideology behind Bilal and Hamza take up fight with the troupes of Umayya and his especially evil son Safwan (Mick Wingert) ..


At least allegedly Dubai's first ever animated feature film (and I can neither confirm nor denie it nor do I see any reason to do either), this is actually so slick a movie that it does live up to comparison with comparable fare from elsewhere, and does feature some breathtaking set pieces. That said, Bilal is not a movie that reinvents epic storytelling - some might say it follows the genre rules a bit too closely even - but it does manage to keep the audience's interest up throughout, does get bloody when it needs to, and especially for an historical,it's just an incredibly tense movie


To give this film it's proper historical background: Bilal is a figure from Islamic history and according to all accounts has done much good - and thus this movie has a very beautiful anti-slavery, anti-racism, anti-sexism message to it, and basically says let's all get along - and please please please, let's just all agree on this ..


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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