In this exclusive piece, Iranian movie ‘The Kingdom of Solomon the Prophet’ and US mini-series ‘Solomon’ are discussed with religious references.
Prophet Solomon (called Sulaiman in Islam), has been described by the Scriptures with some differences, and such narratives affect the way a religious drama themed on the prophet is made for the small or big screen.
Based on the Quranic narrative, Sulaiman (PBUH) was born and raised in Jerusalem, Palestine. He was the son of Prophet David (PBUH). As one of God’s prophets, he had some miracles, including his ability to communicate with all kinds of animals. He was also given the power to command the jinn – the unseen beings created by God.
‘The Kingdom of Solomon the Prophet’ by Shahriyar Bahrani is more focused on how prophet Solomon (PBUH) (played by Amin Zendegani) is faced with a world of evil threatening his kingdom.
He is shown as a caring, family man alongside his wife Miriam (play by Elham Hamidi).
In a mini-series titled ‘Solomon: Bible Collection’ by US director Roger Young, the prophet’s excellent judgment was highlighted. The wisdom granted to Solomon by God is shownthrough Solomon's decision that a child should be cut in two so that each woman claiming to be the biological mother receives one half. Solomon hands the child back to its true mother when the non-mother approved of this proposal.
Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, and legendary Queen of Sheba were also depicted in the miniseries as the influential female characters based on the biblical narrative of the miniseries.
Solomon was portrayed on the deathbed in the series, giving some advice to his son, Rehoboam. Based on the Quranic references, Sulaiman leaned on his cane when he passed away. He remained upright supported by the cane with no one realizing what happened to him for quite a while.
In the miniseries, his kingdom was presented as divided after his death when Solomon's successor, Rehoboam, treated his subjects with arrogance.
In both productions, the great kingdom of Solomon was depicted with all its magnificence.