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Albert Brooks pleased with ‘Muslim’ premiere

His latest comedy passes a crucial test at the Dubai film festival
/ Source: The Associated Press

Albert Brooks says he wasn't looking to bring world peace, he was doing just what his new film's title said: "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World."

At its world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival, Brooks said he was concerned Abdullah bin Zaid al-Nahayan, the minister of information of the United Arab Emirates, would lead the audience out of the theater.

Instead, "they went crazy. I thought, I passed the test, it's O.K. The sheik is laughing; he's talking to the guy next to him in Arabic and pointing at the screen. And no one walked out," Brooks told The New York Times for Sunday editions.

In the film, Brooks is assigned a high-level government mission: travel to India and Pakistan, where he's to write a report on what makes Muslims laugh.

Brooks said he chose India and Pakistan because of the intense conflict between the two countries.

"What's more important is that you're elevating this into the green zone, where you can make fun," he said. "And now it takes its place alongside everything else you can make fun of — politics or Jews or bad food or anything. If that happens, then that's really a healthy sign. That actually is something."