Born of Fire (1987)
Article 5454 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jamil Dehlavi
Featuring Peter Firth, Suzan Crowley, Stefan Kalipha
What it is: Islamic horror
A visit by a woman astronomer, aural hallucinations of strange music, the eruption of a volcano in Turkey, and the death of his mother send a flutist on a quest to find a Master Musician who is seeking to inundate the world in fire.
This horror/fantasy is steeped in Arabic mysticism, and it involves Arabic creatures such as Djinns and Shaytans. There is a story of sorts, but I suspect that’s not the primary focus of the movie. It’s beautifully photographed, and it’s full of surreal and grotesque images; my favorite is of the sun being eclipsed by a skull. What does it all mean? Perhaps someone familiar with Arabic mysticism would be able to answer that; I’m not. Curiosity is the main thing that kept me watching, and it does have one jump moment till the end. However, I can’t exactly say I found this one quite satisfying. It might be worth revisiting should I ever become more familiar with the mystical elements; for now, I’d say it’s mostly a curiosity piece.