To coincide with Harmony Day, Bluestar Intercultural Centre together with the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture co-hosted a screening of the film The Sultan and The Saint on Wednesday 21 March 2018 at the centre’s Chapel in Barton, Canberra.
The documentary tells of the often relegated story from history. It is the story of Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt, and their meeting on a bloody battlefield during the period of Christian-Muslim conflict known as the Crusades.
The focus is when Francis, who after his death became a saint one of the most venerated religious figures in history, reached across to the enemy and befriended the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Kamil, nephew of the renowned Salahuddin.
In the documentary, we learn that Francis was fundamentally changed by this encounter and what he learnt from his Muslim friend in those few days reflected in his subsequent writings.
In the film we also learn of the mercy the Sultan showed to the Crusaders when they were bogged down in the floodplains, choosing to provide them with food and safe passage back rather than kill them.
Muhammed Aksu, Director at Bluestar, introduced the film and then after the screening the patrons were treated to some Mediterranean food before the audience shared their observations about the film.
Quite a number of attendees remarked about the relevance of this encounter to modern challenges.
To learn more about the film, which is rated 8/10 on IMDB, visit the website: https://www.sultanandthesaintfilm.com/
To find out about this and other Bluestar activities, visit: https://www.facebook.com/bluestar.intercultural/