EHN-SHAL-AH: If you have 90 minutes, use them to watch Koran By Heart, a documentary about the international Koran-recital competition, which draws about 200 competitors under the age of 19 to Cairo each year to do exactly that: recite a passage of the Koran precisely given the beginning and ending lines of that passage. Competitors are judged both on precision and proper form -- but not comprehension. Indeed, some of these kids cannot speak a word of Arabic save the rote recital of the Koran itself.
The charm of the movie is that these kids are pretty much the same kids we have come to know and love as part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. All seem quite bright. Some kids have terrific parents. Others have been neglected to learn nothing but the Koran. And if you don't want to squeeze the stuffing out of the adorable Rifdha Rasheed of the Maldives by the end of this movie, well, I don't even want to know you.