Award-winning documentary ‘The Last Sermon’ set for digital release

Movie follows survivors of Tel Aviv suicide bombing as they travel across Europe in bid to understand religious extremism.

Jack Baxter (center) accepts the 'Prix de l’Espoir’ (Prize of Hope) award at the closing ceremony of the 6th International Human Rights Film Festival of Tunis in February. (photo credit: JACK BAXTER)
Jack Baxter (center) accepts the 'Prix de l’Espoir’ (Prize of Hope) award at the closing ceremony of the 6th International Human Rights Film Festival of Tunis in February.
(photo credit: JACK BAXTER)
The award-winning documentary film The Last Sermon is set to premiere on digital platforms on December 15, Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company and leading distributor of independent films, has announced.
Directed and produced by Jack Baxter and Joshua Faudem, the movie follows the two filmmakers, who survived the 2003 suicide bombing attack at Mike’s Place music bar in Tel Aviv, as they travel across Europe in a bid to uncover the roots of religious extremism.
The Tel Aviv bombing was perpetrated by British Muslims affiliated with Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades at the height of the Second Intifada, resulting in the deaths of three people and wounding of 50 others.
In the film, Baxter and Faudem visit refugee camps, mosques and other sites as they attempt to learn more about the terrorists who tried to kill them.
The Last Sermon had its world premiere at the 2020 International Human Rights Film Festival in Tunis, where it won the Prix de l’Espoir. In the United States, the film premiered at the 10th Queens World Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary Feature and the Truth Seeker Award.
“I truly believe that The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, has the power to change the perceptions of Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” Baxter told The Media Line.
“It is a message of our common humanity, regardless of race and ethnicity, that needs to be known and understood by everyone, everywhere. Our film is a vehicle to communicate that sentiment to a worldwide audience,” he said.
Felice Friedson, president and CEO of The Media Line and a producer of The Last Sermon, said: “Jack Baxter and Joshua Faudem faced evil in the eye the day Mike's Place was blown up. The Last Sermon is a film that sheds light on their search for understanding Islam.”
A version with German subtitles will be released before the wider global digital release, with a 48-hour public streaming window exclusively within Germany from December 4 to 6.
The event will feature Dr. Iyad Al-Dajani, a Palestinian peacemaker and reconciliation scholar, as well as a musical performance from Palestinian-Syrian refugee Aeham Ahmad, also known as "The Pianist of Yarmouk."
Funds raised from the event are earmarked for the Moabit hilft e.V. Refugee Aid Initiative in Berlin, which is featured in the documentary.
Baxter notes he is hoping to broadcast the film in Israel as well in December, pending distribution deals that are already in the works.
“When I awoke from my coma after three days at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, the reporters asked me what I thought about the two British Muslim terrorists who attacked Mike’s Place,” he recounted.
“I told them that the essence of Islam is Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon, and ‘murder’ is not part of Islam,” he said. “I believed that in 2003, and I stand by it now in 2020.”
Friedson moderated an interfaith panel that included Dijani, Baxter, Faudem, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, Imam Mustafa Sway, Osnat Kollek, Rabbi Michael Melchior and journalist Dima Abu Maria.
“The Media Line was proudly involved in the opening stages of production and is delighted to see this documentary given the exposure it well deserves,” she said.
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