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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Sheikh Jackson'
(Ahmad El-Fishawl, Mahmoud El-Bezzawy, Basma, Maged El Kedwany, Shahira Fahmy, et al / DVD / NR / (2017) 2018 / Cleopatra Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: An Islamic cleric has a crisis of faith when he hears the news that his childhood idol, Michael Jackson, has died.

DVD Verdict: Egypt's submission to the Foreign Language Film Award of the 90th Annual Academy Awards, and regardless of the fact that the production company couldn't use any of the songs of Michael Jackson due to budget restrictions, 'Sheikh Jackson' is one of the most enthralling documentaries on one man's love, devotion, respect, and heartbreak for another: Michael Jackson, the self-proclaimed King of Pop.

On June 25th, 2009, the news of Michael Jackson's death took the world by storm affecting many, especially Khaled (Ahmad El-Fishawy, 'Out Of Order'), a respected junior cleric whose nickname was 'Jackson' during his school days.

But, what does a preacher have in common with the King of Pop? More importantly, can he now go back to his normal life, or will his memories and relationships with his loved ones raise the most prominent question in his mind? Is he the Sheikh, Jackson, or both?

We start our journey with our Sheikh in a dream. A dream that paints us half the picture of our protagonist. He fears death, not only because it's, you know, Death, but because it means that his chance to improve his good-standing with God is gone. And so we start at the depth of our character and continue exploring it outwards.

Later, we get to catch glimpses of his childhood, and adolescence. Both well-acted and well-written, we witness the emotional traumas he goes through during these periods and how they made him what he is today.

El-Kedwany plays a master-class part in portraying the child and adolescent Sheikh's father. He joins both abusive and preaching characteristics in a well-developed character.

As we watch the story unfold, I've since come to also learn that the wonderful dancing scene in the mosque wasn't actually shot in a real mosque due to religious restrictions. That makes sense, but aside from that, I feel like the production team kept relatively true to their cinematic cause throughout.

Funnily enough, both Ahmed Malek and Ahmad El-Fishawi got their roles without any auditions and watching them both here throughout, you can see why. They were born to play their respective roles.

In closing, 'Sheikh Jackson' is not just about a story or some events, but moreover of a very religious man, though not a fanatic, and the mind games that he brings upon himself. A good man, albeit flawed and haunted. A sad man, all be he self-imprisoned within his own mind. Watch it and see it for yourselves, I beg of you, for it will change you (for the better). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Image Slideshow
Theatrical Trailer