Free Trial

Five Short films about Art

Muslim Art

There are many films and documentaries about the visual arts of the Muslim world in the Alchemiya library. From Islamic art history and traditional craft, to contemporary art and photography from Muslim artists, here are five films that present just some of the variety in our collection.


Darat al-Funun, The House of Art

Darat al-Funun, The House of Art

Darat al Funun is one of the Arab world’s most important and longstanding champions of contemporary art in the whole region. Built around the site of a Byzantine church this Jordanian gallery, research centre and hub for Arab art overlooks the old city of Amman. The collection and the many workshops, gatherings and events it holds offer insights into the ancient civilizations that settled in the city, and the more recent political events that have shaped the region and its art.

Darat al-Funun, The House of Art was made in 2013 to celebrate
the 25th anniversary of the gallery’s opening. Narrated by founder, Suha Shoman, this thoughtful film tells its story, and the inextricably linked story of the Khalid Shoman Foundation. Using archive material and testimony from contemporary artists, this documentary shows how philanthropy, passion and dedication came together to create this lynchpin of art, education and creative development. It is amazing to see how Darat Al Funun emerged from an ancient site that had been ignored for decades and required major and careful archaeological preservation work. The historical record contained in the archaeology of the site makes it relevant to all as a modern symbol of tolerance. The ancient monuments and mosaics, now fully restored, form part of the Darat Al Funun compound and sit alongside the more contemporary creative expressions of the region.  

How Sacred Geometry is embedded in your DNA

How Sacred Geometry is embedded in your DNA

Geometry is seen as sacred because it contains within it universal and unchanging laws that repeat in patterns throughout all manifestations of nature and creation. It is an art form of order and beauty that presents a way of comprehending and visualising the infinite. This short film looks at what underlies sacred geometry and its role in defining our path to knowledge.

“Geometric Art has fascinated me for a long time”, says artist and filmmaker Dearing Wang. “In this video I wanted to demonstrate how geometric form connects the different layers of our realities and I wanted to inspire reflection on the connections that are shown here.”

From the Hand of Man

From the Hand of Man

Thus visually lyrical, short documentary explores the skill and artistry of Indian craftsmen who work with Arabic carvings of lapis lazuli, which they then inlay and highlight with gold leaf. When assembled they form inscriptions from the Quran that can extend along two and a half square kilometres of marble. To be immersed in the daily routines of these craftsmen in their workshops is a rare gift. It is also a pause for reflection on just how much we take the inscriptions and facades on mosques and monuments for granted.

The Art of Seeing with Peter Sanders

The Art of Seeing with Peter Sanders

Peter Sanders began his career in the mid 1960s and became one of London’s key photographers of rock musicians. However, in 1970 he set off for India, cameras in hand and travelled for seven months. This trip became a spiritual odyssey that led him onto Morocco and thereafter to Makkah and Madinah, where he photographed the hajj at a time when few professional photographers had access to Islam’s holiest sanctuaries. Continuing to travel far and wide, Peter Sanders has built up a photographic archive of well over a quarter of a million transparencies from forty countries around the world. The Art of Seeing is a project designed by Peter to teach and instil the ability to tell a story through pictures from people who have mastered their craft. The project creates such an environment in different places in the world where everyone, from the beginner to the expert, may benefit from Peter’s vast knowledge and experience of photography and story telling

Turkish Ebru (Paper Marbling)

Turkish Ebru (Paper Marbling)

Ebru is an art form that originated in Central Asia and was developed in the Ottoman Empire of the fifteenth century. Traditionally, this paper was used for borders on Ottoman panels and miniatures, and for the inside covers and flyleaves of books.

Made by Seyit Uygur, without any commentary or explanation, Turkish Ebru is a delightful little film that allows you to see the art of paper marbling very close up. It is a beautiful and engrossing three minutes of absolute magic, as a multiplicity of colours swirl and move into shapes and patterns right before your eyes!


To see more from our arts collection, check out these two other features, Centuries of Skill, Muslim Craft Traditions, and The Decorated Word: Islamic Calligraphy on Film.


Halal Tourism: The Muslim Traveller's Guide to Granada is an immersive and fun way to explore historic and present-day Muslim Granada
Malika-e-Noor is a young Pakistani footballer hailing from the Karakorum mountains on the outskirts of Islamabad. This 2017 documentary highlights the difficulties facing young female footballers in Pakistan and the irrepressible spirit with which they pursue their sport.

Join today

Alchemiya gives you instant access to hundreds of titles. A growing library of Movies, Dramas, Documentaries, Children’s Programmes and great TV, we add new titles on a regular basis. Choose from a monthly or annual subscription and start watching today.

Alchemiya on different devices
Alchemiya on different devices

*iOS, Android, Roku and Amazon Fire TV now available. Samsung and Android TV coming early 2022.

Get Our Newsletter

Hear about cool films, creativity and special screening events.