New movie 'Mooz-lum,' filmed in Ann Arbor, profiles Muslim youth in America
With the film industry bringing several productions to southeast Michigan over the past few months, local residents have had a growing level of excitement about the possibility of seeing some big names around the area. My brother is one individual who has taken full advantage of this thrilling development for our state by working as an extra in several films over the last year or so. He as already stood as an extra in projects headed up by filmmakers like Wes Craven and David Schwimmer on sets with Hilary Swank and Courteney Cox among others. Although he may just be an extra, the prospect of catching even just a glimpse of him on the big screen has been something my family has been anticipating for a while now.
Photo courtesy of qasimbasir.com
The first of the productions he was involved in to be released is probably the smallest among the handful he has done. It may not be that summer blockbuster that rakes in millions but the movie "Mooz-lum" is sure to stir up some controversy amongst its viewers.
Directed by young filmmaker Qasim A. Basir, the film profiles the experiences of a young Muslim boy, Tariq Mahdi, as he enters college and interacts with Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The trailer, which includes several shots of University of Michigan’s campus, suggests that this film might not be your average coming of age tale. It is bound to raise questions of whether the degree of discrimination young Muslims face in this country is portrayed in a realistic light. It's hard to say for sure until the movie is released and enough people have seen it but it wouldn’t be unexpected for it to exaggerate the dramatic elements of a young Muslim’s life coming up in a post-9/11 America. After all, it is a movie and has to draw on a story that will engage its audience.
I know several people around the Ann Arbor area who are looking forward to seeing our town on the big screen as it already has been in movies like "Jumper" and "Youth in Revolt" and will be in "Trust" and "Scream 4."
"Mooz-lum" will be another film to add to that list although it is not getting as major of a release as the others. It is set to premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival in October and maybe move to other film festivals, as most indie flicks do, hoping for a larger distributor to provide for bigger release depending on acclaim and audience level.
Meanwhile, it is making use of a Facebook fan site, where it has gathered a following of nearly 60,000 people already to build a case to distributors as well.