In this Peabody Award-winning exposé, director Deeyah Khan uses her uniquely intimate filming style to investigate the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.S.
UK/US | 2020 | 68 minutes | Color | DVD | English | Order No. W211286 |
Since 2015, anti-Muslim hate groups, conspiracy theories and hate crimes have risen in the United States. In this Peabody Award-winning exposé, Deeyah Khan explores the connections between this increase in hate-driven incidents and state-endorsed racism and investigates what it's like to be Muslim in a country where many people feel they don’t belong.
Filmed before and during the coronavirus pandemic and while events following the death of George Floyd unfolded around her in America, Khan meets ordinary Muslims whose lives have been shattered by violence and intolerance, activists trying to combat a rising tide of hatred, armed militia who believe Islam is infiltrating the U.S., and lawmakers who have themselves been the target of vitriolic rhetoric, such as Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Deploying her uniquely intimate filming style, Deeyah seeks to get to the heart of the Muslim experience - providing a vivid insight into the experiences of alienation, of rejection, and the daily struggles of keeping faith in both Islam and the American Dream.
"Exposes the extreme anti-Muslim ideology normalized by Trump, and those who have been on the receiving end of the violence it has sparked."
"Deeyah Khan delves, seemingly without fear, into a subculture of resentment, weaponry and Islamaphobia."
"Looks at the roots of societal corrosion and the rise in right-wing zealotry, from the perspectives of both the country’s Muslim community and those opposed to their presence in the USA."
Documentary director and producer Deeyah Khan has won two Emmys, a BAFTA, an RTS and two Peabody Awards in over a decade of making empathetic and unflinching films which deal with some of the most important and polarizing issues confronting the world today; extremism, violence against women, inequality, racism and social exclusion.
Deeyah has filmed with battle-hardened jihadis, members of armed militia groups, American domestic terrorists and white supremacists, with incisive, illuminating and often surprising results. After she spent over a year filming with members of the United States’ largest neo-Nazi organization, including filming them on their notoriously violent march through Charlottesville in 2017, three high-ranking figures, including the leader, left the movement and rejected its white supremacist ideology. All of them credit their encounters with Deeyah as the catalyst for them to leave the extremist movement.
The Times of London says of her: "She is one of the bravest, most indomitable women... facing down bullies and extremists with intelligence and unflinching spirit.”
Born in Norway to Muslim immigrant parents, Deeyah’s experience of the beauty and the challenges of living between different cultures shapes her creative vision, informing the emotional honesty and humanity which characterizes her films.
Released in 2012 Banaz: A Love Story, her first multi-award-winning documentary, chronicled the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honor killing. Deeyah's second film, the Bafta-nominated Jihad in 2015, involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis. White Right: Meeting the Enemy, in which she interviewed key figures of the American far right, won her a second Emmy award in 2018. More recently, the BAFTA award-winning film America’s War on Abortion saw Deeyah explore one of the most divisive issues in American politics, while Muslim in Trump’s America charted rising Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims against a background of political and online hatred and division. The latter film won Deeyah a second Peabody Award.
In 2010 Deeyah founded her media, arts and education company Fuuse, with the aim of creating space for more inclusive and diverse stories; in 2016, she was appointed the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity.
Deeyah is increasingly sought after as an advisor and speaker for her unique insights and her skills in listening- and empathy-based approaches to conflict resolution. Her method of building connections across social, racial, and personal divides, honed over ten years of filmmaking on the frontline, aims to deepen understanding through achieving a recognition of our shared humanity, and building a new way of being in the world based upon our inter-connectivity. (4/23)
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Read Civia Tamarkin's director's statement here.