Filmed amidst Turkey's great mosques, Byzantine churches and Greco-Roman ruins, Rumi Returning is a moving feast of the poetry, music, and dance of the whirling dervishes Rumi inspired. As a child he flees his birthplace in Afghanistan before Genghis Khan’s army. It is The Golden Age of Sufism. The film chronicles the centers of Islamic learning through which the family passes in their diaspora and the influences on the young Rumi of saints such as Rabi’a, Ibn Arabi, Attar. They settle in Konya, an ancient Anatolian town known for its religious tolerance. Rumi’s father, a Sufi master, founds a school. Rumi assumes his father’s mantle upon his death and gains respect as a learned teacher. But, his world turns upside down when he meets a wandering dervish, Shams of Tabriz, who initiates him into the path of ego annihilation and the ecstasy of union with the One. For three years the two engage in sacred conversation, prayer and revelry, which extend for weeks at a time. Then, Shams disappears and is never seen again. Most sources agree that he was murdered by Rumi’s jealous disciples. This ignites an unquenchable flame of grief and longing in Rumi. He begins to turn in a sacred dance of surrender and pour forth the unparalleled poetry that would earn him the title, the Shakespeare of the soul. In time he sees that he is inseparably one with Shams and all humanity. Rumi becomes world renowned for his selflessness and compassion. But, Khan’s army again threatens his world. The Mongols stand at the gates of Konya. Legend has it that, negotiating for his people, Rumi saved the city from destruction. At his death it is said he had amassed over 10,000 followers. Christians, Muslims and Jews all vied for the honour of carrying his coffin to its resting place. The night of his death is still celebrated around the world as Rumi’s “Wedding Night with the Beloved”.