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[In Cities of Light] award-winning director Rob Gardner (Islam: Empire of Faith) takes us through the cycle of 700 years of extraordinary civilization in southern Spain, where religious tolerance and cultural diversity blossomed and wilted; where seeds of the Renaissance and the Holocaust were both planted; where possible met impossible.NJ.com http://blog.nj.com/njv_anisa_mehdi/2007/08/once_upon_a_time_in_human_hist.html
News Blaze http://newsblaze.com/story/20070727102834tsop.nb/topstory.html
... [I]ssues of religious intolerance continue to divide nations. [Cities of Light] serves as an example of both the glories of a multicultural society and the tensions that arise when one religious or political faction tries to force their ideas onto the society as a whole.
North County Times
Very much to its credit, Cities of Light draws commentary from a wide range of scholars Muslim, Christian and Jewish. It also makes a compelling case for why Islamic Spain, a civilization that lasted longer than the Roman Empire, is not just a golden age of Islam, but is a catalyst for the European Renaissance. And it's a cautionary tale of how fanaticism in any religious belief can be deadly.
Christian Science Monitor Review of Cities of Light http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0822/p09s02-coop.html
At its peak, [Islamic Spain] lit the Dark Ages with science and philosophy, poetry, art, and architecture. It was the period remembered as a golden age for European Jews. Breakthroughs in medicine, the introduction of the number zero, the lost philosophy of Aristotle, even the prototype for the guitar all came to Europe through Islamic Spain. ... At its best, the history of Islamic Spain is a model for interfaith cooperation that inspires those who seek an easier relationship among the three Abrahamic faiths. At its worst, it's a warning of what can occur when political and religious leaders divide the world. It reminds us what really happens when civilizations clash. [Cities of Light]
Wall Street Journal
The official theme of this fascinating documentary, [Cities of Light] is how "greed, fear and intolerance" along with "puritanical judgments and absolutism" destroyed a multicultural paradise of the Middle Ages. The subtheme is that Muslims, Jews and Christians can all live together happily if they try.
[Cities of Light] blends expert "talking heads," with masterful recreations, film footage of breathtaking Islamic architecture and scenes of Spain itself for a highly accessible and supremely satisfying mix. It may seem strange to say MUST SEE TV is a documentary about Islamic Spain so many centuries ago — but it is just that.The Moderate Voice http://themoderatevoice.com/14684/tv-review-cities-of-light-the-rise-and-fall-of-islamic-spain/
Members of each faith lived in communities that were often separate yet intertwined. Jewish, Muslim and Christian courts enforced separate laws. But Jewish merchants plied their trade to Christians and Muslims – and vice versa. A Muslim ruler appointed a Jewish scholar to head his army. Christian rulers from Europe sent their finest scholars to study in Al-Andalus. [Cities of Light]
The Jewish Week
Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain a fascinating, intelligent and extremely well-done documentary about Spain under Islamic rule....