(Eyad Zahra, USA, 2010, 35mm, 84 min)
Yusef is a straitlaced Pakistani-American college student who moves into a house with an unlikely group of Muslim misfits, a rag tag group of skaters, skinheads, queers and a riot grrrl in a burqa, all of whom embrace Taqwacore, the hardcore Muslim punk-rock scene. These misfits may read the Koran and attend the mosque, but they also welcome an anarchic blend of the proverbial sex, drugs and rock and roll. As Yusef becomes more involved in Taqwacore he finds his faith and ideology challenged by both this new subculture and his charismatic new friends, who represent different, and sometimes conflicting, ideas of the Islamic tradition. Adapted from the influential novel by Michael Muhammad Knight, who served as the co-writer of the film, The Taqwacores marks the energetic directorial debut of Eyad Zahra. Zahra’s fictional feature is highly believable and original riff on the cinematic identity narrative. Ultimately it portrays the glorious filth and fury of Islamic punk with humor and humanity.
“Simmers with raw immediacy and seething humor … is sure to appeal to fans of Trainspotting, Fight Club, anything by Gus Van Sant, and of course Taqwacore.” -LA Times
This film is presented by NORTHWEST FILM FORUM