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Cities of Light
Running Time: 77 minutes
Venue: Tiburon Library [1501 Tiburon Boulevard]
Director: Robert Gardner
Description: [Screening @ Tiburon Film Society]
Over a thousand years ago, Europe experienced one of its greatest periods of cultural enlightenment.
For more than three centuries in Medieval Spain, Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together and prospered in a thriving multicultural civilization. Here, remarkable individuals of different faiths made lasting contributions in such areas as poetry, art, architecture, music, dining etiquette, science, agriculture, medicine, engineering, navigation, textiles, and even hydraulic technology.
Their rich, complex culture reached a high point in the Mediterranean Middle Ages. However, larger forces in the conquest of land and power brought about puritanical judgments, absolutism, and religious extremism. The conflict they triggered extinguished the shared learning that once flourished in this enlightened land.
Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain takes viewers through an engaging, insightful journey into this critical period in world history.
This documentary highlights the triumphs and achievements of diverse cultures that co-exist and thrive together, but it also depicts the tragedy that ensues when religious extremism begins to rise.
The story weaves together striking feature-film style re-enactments, vivid footage of great Islamic architecture, scenes of Spain’s beautiful landscapes, and analysis by world-class historians and scholars to tell a story of vital importance for our contemporary world.
The history of Islamic Spain, as told in Cities of Light, demonstrates that when religious diversity is accommodated within a social and political system, problems and tensions may still exist, but society is able to manage them, generally to the benefit of all. But when governing powers and religious movements reject complexity and insist on a single cultural and religiously centered point of view, then society is likely to see a widespread loss for everyone.
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