Two lives committed to religion in the age of the Western religious crisis, and a commitment to mutual tolerance: In Damascus, Sheikh Ibrahim calls to prayer in the mosque – in the mountains of the Syrian desert Brother Jihad reads the morning mass in the monastery.
Sheikh Ibrahim, Brother Jihad portrays two Syrian clergymen in the context of their religion: Sheikh Ibrahim is a member of the Muslim Sufi order Naqschibandi-Haqqani in the Rukn Edin district of Damascus. Brother Jihad is a priest and monk and lives in the Syrian Catholic monastery Deir Mar Musa. One follows the everyday life of the two protagonists: Ibrahim in his tailor shop in Damascus, his committed work in the community; Jihad in prayer, the work in the monastery and his meditation in the desert. What unites the two is a long-standing friendship, which testifies to their great respect for each other’s faith and religion.
The existential way of life of the protagonists characterizes the film through predominantly long, calm shots and still images, which seemingly without external influence – such as artificial light or commentary – bring the two religious men and their lives closer to the viewer. The narrative style reflects the devotion and fervor with which they live their religion – puristically – like the faith and life of Sheikh Ibrahim and Brother Jihad. In times of material abundance, the film is a plea for reflection on human coexistence.
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