Inside [1996]

Genre: Crime, Drama
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 58 minutes

Watching this enthralling documentary, one inevitably wonders how Islam, a beautiful religion, could have become synonymous with fear and hatred, even after 9/11. Inside Islam explores the historic and poetic wellspring of the Muslim people and illuminates startling commonalities among Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Shades of difference between Islam's foundation and that of its counterparts prove more fascinating than divisive, e.g., Islam claims a direct line with Abraham via the latter's cast-off son, Ismael, while Judaism is linked to Abraham's more favored child, Isaac. Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the angel Gabriel each play major roles in the Quran; it was Gabriel, in fact, who transmitted the Word of God to the 40-year-old, seemingly ordinary Muhammad in the 7th century, making him extraordinary to millions today. Sure, anti-Western sentiment creeps into the story, but in every important way Inside Islam is an antidote to gross anti-Muslim bigotry. --Tom Keogh

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