Today’s Zaman Reviews ‘The Butterfly’

Director Cihan Taşkın’s eagerly anticipated debut feature “Kelebek” (Butterfly), which hit theaters on Friday, clearly rejects the association of Muslims with terrorism that became so widespread after the Sept. 11, 2001 suicide attacks carried out against the US by al-Qaeda.  The movie, written by Mahmut Bengi, tells the story of Yusuf and his friends, who go to Afghanistan during the 1996 civil war with the encouragement of their Mevlevi sheikh in order to be useful in a situation where thousands have been killed or left homeless. The film’s cast features world-renowned Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud, along with Turkish actors Caner Cindoruk, Münir Can Cindoruk, Şahin Çelik, Deniz Bolışık, Sümer Tılmaç, Tuncay Beyazıt, Kadir Kırıcı and Serhat Yiğit. In an interview with Today’s Zaman, director Taşkın — who has been in the film industry for the last 15 years — explained that with “Kelebek” he wanted to show that a Muslim cannot be a terrorist and a terrorist cannot be a Muslim. “After Sept. 11, the people of the Middle East rejected the role that was imposed on them by the US. The US told them they were terrorists, and they said they were not. And I chose to show the difference between Muslims and terrorism through Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi,” he said.“On the one hand there is a religion that says ‘Killing a person is like destroying all of humanity.’ On the other hand, there is a regime led by George W. Bush, saying ‘You are either one of us or a terrorist’,” Taşkın elaborates. “I tried to approach the problem as neutral as possible [but] by drawing a definite...