I am a poor man of the desert.
But I am the Mahdi, the Expected One.
On my cheek is the mole,
between my teeth… the space.
On his Fox News show this week (5 p.m. Eastern), Glenn Beck has been lecturing on Islamic eschatology, and The Twelfth Imam, a.k.a. the Mahdi.
I realized I’d heard about this Mahdi fellow before, and wondered if some of our younger readers might have missed Khartoum (1966), a treatment of the historical showdown in 1885 between English General Charles “Chinese” Gordon and a man who thought he was the Expected One, the Mahdi.
So I rummaged around in YouTube and found a 10-minute segment that contains the above lines. I don’t know if the entire movie has been uploaded to YouTube in short pieces, but there are other such segments.
It so happens that this particular Mahdi — and there are others who have also thought they were the Mahdi — is portrayed by the greatest actor of all time, Sir Laurence Olivier. Charlton Heston plays Gordon with nobility.
Khartoum is an old-time flick from the era when epic movies had overtures and intermissions, which, if memory serves, it did. It has a fine score. I recommend that you see the entire movie on your new HDTV. The movie does a fine job of showing the “otherness” of these people who are hell-bent on destroying the West. Click on the video below and ask yourself: Will we ever learn?
Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.