Saturday, February 5, 2011

Movie Review: Mooz-lum

Detroit native Qasim Basir has struck a major chord with his new film Mooz-lum starring Evan Ross, Nia Long, Danny Glover and Roger Guenveur Smith.

In this film a young Tariq (played by Evan Ross) struggles with his identity as a Muslim as he transitions into college, and adulthood, while being surrounded by Christian and secular values in the aftermath of the 911 terrorist attacks.

As the son of a devout practicing Muslim, Tariq had always found himself at a cross roads when it came to pleasing his father (played by Roger Guevenur Smith) and exploring his curiosity about the outside world.

When the opportunity finally comes for Tariq to choose to stand for his faith or give in to the pressure of fitting in, his family and friends find themselves in a very difficult situation when they are all forced to deal with startling truths.

Mooz-lum is a film that is based on writer and director Qasim Basir's personal experience and presents a very real portrayal of the persecution Muslims have endured, especially since the 911 terrorist attacks.

The story was very captivating and the cast did an awesome job of bringing it to life. Evan Ross showed a lot of range in the leading role, while Roger Gueveur Smith was very convincing in his role as Hassan, the devout Muslim father.

Nia long also had a standout performance as Safiyah, Tariq's mother. Though we are all used to seeing Long play the sexy role, it was refreshing to see her get to step out of the type-cast pigeon hole to take on a more meaningful and character driven part.

For me, from the perspective of being a Christian, it was very interesting to see this movie because sometimes we as Christians we tend to forget that others are also unfairly persecuted for their beliefs as well. And even though we may not all share the same beliefs as the next person, it is still not our right to attack and physically harm them. Rather we should learn to share our faith through love, open dialog and living by example.

All in all, I have to say that Mooz-lum was an excellent movie and Qasim Basir did an excellent job telling his story. After watching this man's career for a long time, it is refreshing to see that he has finally seemed to have hit his stride and I can honestly say that I am looking forward to seeing more of his work.

This film gets an enthusiastic ten spirit fingers!

Mooz-lum will be screening in ten select cities around the country and Detroit is one of them, so if you see that this movie is showing at a theater near you please go out and support it. Making movies on the independent level isn't easy, so when someone does it and does it well we should all show them the support they need to keep growing.

For more information about Mooz-lum, please visit

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