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      Koran by Heart

      2011 1 hr. 17 min. Documentary List
      Reviews 82% 50+ Ratings Audience Score More than 100 children from all over the world descend on Cairo to compete in an annual Koran-reciting contest. Read More Read Less

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      Koran by Heart

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (11) audience reviews
      Audience Member parental rights to education fail... Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Touching ... MASHALLAH ! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member Kudos to the director for picking this often overlooked event as the subject matter of the documentary. This work gave an intimate look into the differences in the lives of characters especially with regards to the access to education but all harboring similar aspirations. of success and quest for knowledge. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member In Ramadan in 2009, former war correspondent and documentary filmmaker Greg Barker travelled to Cairo to capture the International Holy Koran Competition. Hundreds of young boys and girls, aged from seven to their early twenties, participate in the contest - a test of Koran memorisation, each year. This documentary follows three of the youngest contestants, all 10 years old. Nabiollah is from rural Tajikistan. His schooling focused on memorising the Koran's 600 pages and he has an impressive natural ability and voice. Sometimes swallowed by her abaya and hijab, Rifdha, a girl from the Maldives, wears bright pink glasses and an addictive smile. She leaves her adoring mother, somewhat reluctantly, to board the small floating plane that begins her journey to Egypt. And in Senegal, the teacher of Djamil reassures him: "Do not be frightened. Everyone, no matter where they are from, learns the same Koran." The son of a popular local Imam, he travels the width of northern Africa alone. This is the world's oldest recitation competition, and it is far from a bunch of kids in a room quoting the text line-by-line. The children sit in front of a panel of judges and choose a number on a touchscreen. A random question comes up, telling them which sentence fragment to begin with, and where to end. Adding to the difficulty of this task, none of the three contestants Barker follows speak or read Arabic with any comprehension. The three preadolescents have amazing gifts but perhaps even bigger challenges; along with spotlighting what they have accomplished at just ten, the film also foreshadows difficulties that lie ahead. The film is centred on the children but Islam, and the many questions surrounding the religion, feature in the background. There is discussion of the 'right' approach and what constitutes a 'good' Muslim. There are strict and moderate voices, each calling for more of their brand ("She has to be educated, but she will be a housewife," says Rifdha's father at one point.) In the end, however, Barker prioritises story-telling over judging, allowing the viewer to delve deeper in search of their own answers. "Koran By Heart" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review dave j Wednesday, February 15, 2012 (2011) Koran By Heart (Much of the language is in Arab, Muslim and Koran with English subtitles) DOCUMENTARY Fascinating documentary about a gathering of mostly underage children entering the country of Cairo competiting for the citing of the Koran (Qur'an) bible who have to memorize and speak perfectly by means of tradition. The civilize debates regarding the Koran book is also in here as well. As ignorant as I am since I've never been to Cairo and had only seen movies about it whenever a settings being used, I've often wondered why I can hear the citing of the Koran spoken during the daytime whenever I were to watch a film, I've always wondered about the purpose of hearing about the sound of Koran spoken through huge loud speakers and as a result of this film fully makes the viewers understand it even more as well as it's purpose! The only problem I have with this documentary is that it's a little short thinking that their could've been more that could've been said. 3 out of 4 Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member I learned so much from this doc. I think the children in the film are of the strongest character, and brave. I had no idea this sort of thing went on in the world but this doc exposed me to it. So for this doc showing something incredible and teaching me something I'm a big fan. What's this film about you say? Pre-teens memorizing the Koran, word for word! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Critics Reviews

      View All (3) Critics Reviews
      Sarah Boslaugh PopMatters Beautiful cinematography by Timothy Grucza and Frank-Peter Lehmann adds to the appeal of this well-constructed and thoughtful film. Rated: 8/10 Oct 4, 2012 Full Review Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Spirituality & Practice Profiles of three very young participants in a prestigious Koran recitation contest in Cairo. Rated: 4.5/5 Aug 3, 2011 Full Review Chris Barsanti PopMatters ...everything needed for audience-grabbing drama. Rated: 8/10 Apr 28, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis More than 100 children from all over the world descend on Cairo to compete in an annual Koran-reciting contest.
      Greg Barker
      Executive Producer
      Sheila Nevins
      Production Co
      Motto Pictures
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Dec 5, 2016
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