The Taqwacores

"Very Good"

The Taqwacores Review


Set in a subculture most people would never guess exists, this entertaining comedy-drama shatters stereotypes in every scene. With so much ignorance and paranoia raging in the media, it's one of the year's most important films.

Yusef (Naderi) is a good Muslim who moves to Buffalo for university. There he moves into an Islamic flatshare, but his roommates aren't what he expects: devout Umar (Mann), punk rocker Jehangir (Rains), shirtless skater Ayyub (Eryaman), anarchic Fasiq (Tran) and burqa-wearing party girl Rabeya (DeWulf).

They all gather for prayers in the living room, which doubles as a mosque. And they're getting ready to host a weekend of Taqwacores, Muslim punk musicians from a movement that started on the West Coast.

As these people mix together, it's clear that the only thing they have in common is their strong Muslim faith, which each one expresses in a different way. This of course challenges Yusef to explore his own faith. Some of them have views on sex and drugs that are far from orthodox, but Yusef finds a way to fit in and even embrace the Taqwacore scene, which like the 70s punk scene is a confrontational reaction to the establishment (think stars of David instead of swastikas).

The film has a loose, scruffy tone that skilfully draws us in. The characters are lively and likeable, and they continually defy media portrayals of Islam that are based on fear-mongering, ignorance and bald-faced lies. These are heard coming from the TV and radio, although it's doubtful that these people would be able to stomach quite this much Fox News. And even people with an understanding of the variety of Islamic thought will be surprised by the filmmaker's observations.

The movie strains to be wacky and revolutionary, but it has a strong autobiographical quality to it in that this truth is much stranger than the fiction we have been led to believe. This is a group of Muslims who don't fit in anywhere, and they're frustrated that they're lumped in with a disenfranchised subculture. So their in-fighting and disagreements are extremely plausible. As Jehangir says, "Allah is too big for my religion to be small and narrow."



The Taqwacores

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd October 2010

Box Office USA: $11.2k

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 14

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Eyad Zahra

Producer: Eyad Zahra

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.