Looking for Muhyiddin

Part of a Journey to the Heart of Arab Culture
with Three New Films by Nacer Khemir

Language: André Miquel: An Encounter with the Arabic Language

Imagination: Scheherazade: Words Against Death

Faith: Looking for Muhyiddin


“Without fear of exaggeration, I can honestly say that this is one of those rare films which
could change the course of history if only its ideas were studied and taken to heart.”
— Chale Nafus, Director of Programming, Austin Film Society

Read this review: click here

“Khemir’s atypical three hour opus is a veritable adventure with the marvelous.”
— Kamel Ben Ouanes, Film Critic

A man (played by the filmmaker Nacer Khemir) returns home to Tunisia to bury his mother. After the burial, his father gives him an “amana” to be handed to a certain Sheikh named Muhyiddin. Taken by his father’s request, the man immediately sets out on an epic journey to find the long lost Sheikh and deliver the “amana.” Throughout the trip, he is guided by a mysterious spiritual master and the many friends of the Sheikh he encounters along the way. As the adventure unfolds, we discover the rich life of this Sheikh and his uncompromising love for humanity. For under his teachings, different beliefs, faiths, and ways of life can only converge and become one. The more we learn about Sheikh Muhyiddin, the more we understand why he is venerated across cultures and continents. Looking for Muhyiddin is a deeply lyrical odyssey into the soul of Islam through the life and work of one of its beloved mystics: Ibn Arabi


This film is available with a Digital Site License (DSL), which allows colleges, universities, or libraries to encode, locally host, and stream the film to their community on a closed, password-protected system.

Rental Information:

This film is available from AFD for public screenings and television broadcast. For information regarding rental rates and formats, please contact info@arabfilm.com  for institutional/non-theatrical screenings, or info@arabfilm.com for theatrical, festival, television, or other bookings.

About the Filmmaker:

Through cinema, painting, sculpture, calligraphy, writing and storytelling, Nacer Khemir has thrown bridges between shores, North and South, East and West. Since he directed “The Story of the Land of God,” for the French channel (Antenne 2) in 1975, he has written, directed, and produced a number of feature films and documentaries. In 1984, he won the top award at the Film Festival of the Three Continents, in Nantes, France for his first feature film “The Wanderers of the Desert.” He then won the “Tanit D’or” at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia, and the Golden Palm leaf at the Valencia Film Festival, and the Critic’s award at the Venice Film Festival. In 1991, his film “The Dove’s Lost Necklace” won the Special Jury Award at the Locarno Festival, the top award at the Belfort Film Festival in France as well the Jury’s Special Award at the Festival of French-Speaking Films in St-Martin. In 1991, he directed “In Search of the Arabian Nights” for the French channel (FR3). In 2005, he cowrote and directed “Bab Aziz, The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul” which won the Golden Dagger at the Muscat Film Festival and the Henry Langlois Prize. In 2007, Nacer Khemir was featured in Swiss director’s Bruno Moll film “Journey To Tunis” about the travels of Paul Klee in Tunisia in 1914 and its influence on his painting. In 2008 Khemir directed “The Alphabet of My Mother” a digital short film which was produced by the JeonJu International Film Festival and premiered at the Locarno and Melbourne film festivals. In 2010 he produced and directed the documentary “André Mique: An Encounter with the Arabic Language.” In 2011 he co-produced and directed “Sheherazade, Words Against Death.” In 2012 he produced and directed “Looking for Muhyiddin” an epic spiritual odyssey about the life and philosophy of the Muslim mystic Ibn Arabi. “Looking for Muhyiddin” won Barzaj Prize in Spain. In 2013 he produced and directed “Yasmina and the 60 Names of Love” and he has just finished production on “Where to Start?”. Nacer Khemir’s films consistently interrogate the myths of the past in order to question and illuminate the future.