chapter  3
The Islamicate film
Pages 35

Given Islamic restrictions on the depiction of God and his Prophets, there is no equivalent ‘Islamic’ film to parallel the mythological and devotional films and so it may be said that there is no ‘Filming the gods’. However, since there is at least one genre which mentions the religion by name, that is the ‘Muslim social’, and there are several other styles of films (perhaps sub-genres) often ascribed to this genre, there is a clearly identifiable group of films which are concerned particularly with Muslims though not with Islam itself. As these films are concerned with religion as part of everyday social and cultural life among Muslims, rather than with religion and religious belief per se, and are in no way Islamic, these films may be described as ‘Islamicate’,1 which ‘would refer not directly to the religion, Islam, itself, but to the social and cultural complex historically associated with Islam and the Muslims, both among Muslims themselves and even when found among non-Muslims’ (Kesavan 1994: 246).