Eyad Zahra's Taqwacores is the film version of the book by M. Knight of the same name. It tells the story of a good Muslim boy who goes to live in a Muslim punk rock house. The house is inhabited by a straight edge kid, a Shi'a skinhead, a burqa-wearing feminist, a skater kid, and a late '70's punk, all of whom practice Islam in deeply personal and often seemingly controversial ways. It is a really fantastic film--the best drama I've seen this year. It takes up many feminist issues in both subtle and sharp ways, including one scene in which a woman leads prayer. Beyond that, it has a lot of elements of your standard Bildungsroman but with the added twist of a character coming of age in a subcultural world, rather than one that is mainstream or given. It also treats the subject of religion with a great deal more complexity and attention to identity than what one hears in most debates over the existence of God and so forth.

I'm looking forward to seeing the documentary produced about Michael Knight and the Taqwacore scene that emerged as a result of his book.


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