Oscar-winning actor and screen legend Sir Ben Kingsley has taken the starring role in a short feature film about the scientific heritage of Muslim civilisation. The mini-movie, entitled “1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets”, accompanies a global touring exhibition which was previously open to the public at the Science Museum in London.
The film has already been seen by over 22 million people around the world. The 1001 Inventions exhibition completed its record-breaking residency at London’s Science Museum with 400,000 visitors in the first half of 2010, followed by a blockbuster residency at the iconic and historic Sultan Ahmed Square in Istanbul with a further 400,000 visitors over a seven-week period. The exhibition then opened at the New York Hall of Science in December 2010, welcoming an additional 250,000 during its five-month US premiere. More than 500,000 people visited 1001 Inventions at the California Science Center in Los Angeles between May 2011 and March 2012. The next venue for the US tour will be the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC, opening in August 2012.
A bilingual Arabic-English version of the 1001 Inventions exhibition was launched in November 2011 in Abu Dhabi for a five-week residency as part of the unaugural Abu Dhabi Science Festival.
In the movie, Sir Ben takes on the role of a mysterious and cantankerous librarian who takes a group of school children on an enlightening journey to meet pioneering scientists and engineers from the history of Muslim civilisation. The librarian is then revealed to be 12th century engineering genius Al-Jazari.