Primas

The Mosque in Morgantown

A film by Brittany Huckabee

US | 2009 | 54 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 121084

SYNOPSIS

THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN follows one woman’s campaign for change against extremism in her West Virginia mosque, throwing the community into turmoil and raising questions that cut to the heart of American Islam. When former Wall Street Journal journalist and single mother Asra Q. Nomani returns from working in Pakistan to her hometown mosque in Morgantown, West Virginia, she believes she sees signs of trouble: exclusion of women, intolerance toward non-believers, and suspicion of the West. She finds such signs particularly alarming and determined to halt the ‘slippery slope’ that she maintains leads from Islamic intolerance to violence, she begins a campaign to drag the mosque’s practices into the 21st century, triggering a heated battle between tradition and modernity. Nomani’s activist tactics alienate would-be allies in the mosque, leading many to wonder who most deserves the label of “extremist.” Director Brittany Huckabee takes a balanced view of the tensions dividing this community, exploring both sides from a neutral standpoint. This riveting Emmy® Award nominated film is not only about women’s rights in the mosque but about the struggles of a Muslim community faces as it strives to be a part of American life.

PRESS

Emro Recommended. "...very thoughtful and thought-provoking look at Muslim-American culture and the difficulty in nurturing an inclusive community amid conflicting ideologies."

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

“A very smart documentary, expertly dissecting a complicated subject matter — gender and Islam — while not taking sides.”

San Francisco Examiner

“The Mosque in Morgantown is an important film for our troubled times. Its narrative has a place in America’s message of change and in the feminist movement that is gaining momentum in many predominantly Muslim countries.”

Alicia Izharuddin The Feminist Review

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • True/False Film Festival
  • San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Brittany Huckabee

Brittany Huckabee is an independent filmmaker and the director of THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN, a documentary chronicling conflict in a West Virginia Muslim community. The film took the Best Documentary prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival before premiering nationally on PBS in 2009. It was nominated for a 2010 Emmy Award for its original musical score.

Huckabee is the founder and principal of Version One Productions, Inc., and served as a 2006-2007 Filmmaker-in-Residence at WGBH, Boston’s award-winning PBS station. Her experience making documentaries spans more than a decade and includes principal filmmaking credits on five documentaries and two weekly series that were broadcast nationally on PBS, including the three-hour documentary series HEAVEN ON EARTH: THE RISE AND FALL OF SOCIALISM (2005).

Raised in a conservative Christian family, she saw her childhood church split in the wake of conflict between a liberal young preacher and the retired cattle rancher who opposed him. Looking back, she realized she was seeing the clash between tradition and modernity that plays out in religious communities of all faiths. A desire to further explore that conflict is what drew her to West Virginia in 2004 to begin making THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN.

Huckabee works as a producer, director, editor and camera operator. Her filmmaking interests include religion, human rights and women's issues; she finds herself particularly drawn to stories about women pushing the traditional boundaries of their cultures. She is currently based in New York. (04/12)

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