Iranians, are now for the past few months ,entertained every Friday night with a new TV series on Joseph, the Prophet. Created according to the Quranic tradition and benefiting from common roots from Judaic and Torah teachings, the film is an attractive entity by all means.
Joseph, the son of Jacob , the son of Isac, the son of Abraham is the star of the film. Betrayed by his jealous brothers Joseph is brought up far from his family by an Egyptian aristocrat who realizes his talents and capabilities. His wife however, falls in love with Joseph and facing his refusal to betray her husband, she plots to throw him in prison for eight years. Known as Juzarsif among the Egyptians , he later becomes a key minister and advisor to the Pharoh and saves Egypt during eight years of drought.
This Quranic narration is one of the most attractive and enlightening stories of the Prophetic tradition and there is an analogy made in Islamic and Iranian literature and mysticism between the separation of Joseph from his father and the separation of the spirit from its creator. But more interesting is the analogy with the occultation of the last Imam, Mahdi. We are waiting , as Jacob was, for the appearance of the Saviour . Its also interesting to note that a film about the Children of Israel ,or Jacob is being screened on national TV at a time when Iran is accused of having an anti-Semitic approach at the global stage.
Iranian film makers have produced several successful series on Quranic tradition and Islamic history during recent years. The Virgin Mary and the Men of Angelos were films both based on narrations from the Quran ,yet related to Christian belief. It is surprising for many Christians and Jews to learn that the Holy Quran presents such detailed and vivid narrations related to their faith so firmly and proudly without any prejudice.
The direction of the film is criticised by many viewers, I also feel there are alot of weaknesses in the way Mr. Salahshour has presented the dialogues and the chain of events. The Director is also renown for his sympathy and support for the policies and line of thought of President Ahmadinejad and some people believe he is trying to draw an analogy between the President's economic plans and Joseph's policies as a propaganda strategy for the current government. We have fallen in the habit of waiting for text messages joking about Joseph and Ahmadinejad once every week.