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by World Music Network August 31, 2011


Islamic punk at the BFI Film Festival

taqwacoresThe BFI Film Festival has been bringing the world's best new films to London for fifty-five years. 2011's programme runs from 12-27 October and includes a wealth of exciting cinema, but there's one film in particular which stands out on the music front. 

The Taqwacoresis the first feature film effort by American-born director Eyad Zahra. It tells the (fictional) story of Yusef - a straight-laced engineering student who enters a house share in Buffalo, New York, befriending a skater, a skin head and a 'riot grrrl in a burqa', all hard partiers embracing booze, sex, anarchy, and Islam. 

The narrative is based on Islamic convert Michael Muhammad Knight's novel 'The Taqwacores' (2004), whose depicted American punk-Muslim scene was entirely a product of Knight's imagination. The book was so influential, however, that it spawned real-life Islamic punk bands such as The Kominas and Al-Thawra(the birth of this scene is documented in another film; 'Taqwacore: The Birth Of Punk Islam'). 

This sounds like an intriguing and original piece of cinema that will get people talking. Whether a punk fan or not, this is not to be missed! Click here for more details from the BFI.