Bilal: A New Breed of Hero is a movie for everyone to see! I attended a private screening organized by Community Advocacy Partners in partnership with Barajoun Entertainment, Vertical Entertainment and the America Meditating Radio Show at the Regal Majestic Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland, along with a gathering of influencers in the area. I was not sure what to expect, but the mere fact that it was an animated movie made it even more enticing for me to attend. I love animated movies! After the screening, Portia Davidson, a retired expert in diversity planning for the Coast Guard, shared that this movie deepened her faith in God.
This was Dubai’s first animated feature film and it was spectacular. The story line offers viewers inclusive, non-discriminatory aspects of the Muslim faith for younger audiences. Loosely based on the life of Bilal ibn Rabah, a trusted companion of the Prophet Muhammad who was abducted into slavery at the age of seven and later became the first muezzin (the man who calls the faithful to prayer). “Bilal” offered us profound life quotes that could be used for many generations to come. My favorite was, “Break the chains from your heart.” I will certainly make this my life quote for a very long time.
Opening titles emphasized the aspects of social justice, humanity’s struggle for freedom and equality, along with the element of being inspired by a true story. Though as we know, inspiration can be quite a leap from history. In the late sixth century, a loving Abyssinian mother is slaughtered by evil murderers as her young children, Bilal (voiced by Andre Robinson) and Ghufaira, watched from a closet. The invaders take the kids to Mecca, where they’re enslaved by a wicked capitalist and idol seller, Umayya (Ian McShane), whose son Safwan (Sage Ryan) is even nastier than his father.
As the aging Bilal (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) grows into an adult, he becomes accustomed to the hopelessness of captivity. Then he meets Hamza (Dave B. Mitchell), who tells him no one is born a slave. Inspired by these words, Bilal regains a sense of dignity, and as the teachings of equality, non-discrimination and monotheism become true for him. He joins forces with the Prophet’s followers to battle against those creating harm for humanity.
So, I turn to you to ask, have you ever felt captured by your own mind? Whereby, you felt hopeless and at a loss for options? Bilal will leave you believing that your only chains are those created by your own way of thinking and believing.
Jan DuPlain, from DuPlain Enterprises, Inc, shared that this movie was captivating and gave her hope that our humanity has the courage to rise against oppression and greed.
While I was watching Bilal, I kept observing my mind signaling to me, ‘See Jenna, always remember your mind is your greatest power, never compromise it for short term gains or trivial issues… rather use it to serve humanity.’