|Directed by||Qasim "Q" Basir|
|Produced by||Peace Film|
|Written by||Qasim "Q" Basir|
Roger Guenveur Smith
|Distributed by||Rising Pictures (Australia)|
|Running time||95 minutes|
|Box office||$330,048 (USA)|
Mooz-lum is a 2010 American independent film written and directed by Qasim "Q" Basir and starring Danny Glover. Mooz-lum (i.e. "Muslim") tells the story of an African American Muslim family whose lives are changed by the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. The film was initially promoted primarily through social media, before opening for its limited theatrical release on February 11, 2011.
Amid a strict Muslim rearing and a social life he has never had, Tariq Mahdi (Evan Ross) enters college confused.
New peers, family and mentors help him find his place, but the 9/11 attacks force him to face his past and make the biggest decisions of his life.
The movie was filmed in Southeastern Michigan. Although the college attended by Tariq is never explicitly identified, most of the college scenes were filmed on location on the campuses of the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. The mosque scene was filmed at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan.
In 2004, aspiring director Qasim "Q" Basir happened to cross paths with one of the best in the profession, Spike Lee, in his Detroit hometown. Basir asked him for guidance on how to succeed in the industry. Lee simply replied, "Write a good script, man."
Basir, now 30, followed Lee's simple advice, which led him to eventually write, and direct his first full-feature film, Mooz-lum, starring Nia Long, Danny Glover, Evan Ross and Roger Guenveur Smith. Partnering with AMC and Eventful, the film was released nationally in February 2011.
Mooz-lum is based on the trials of Tariq Mahdi (Ross), a Muslim-American boy who struggles to find his identity while enduring the forces of his strict father, other Muslims, and non-Muslims who are pulling him in different directions.
"I said 'yes' immediately and wanted to make sure I represented Muslim women properly," Long said. "A piece like this sheds light on an area of life that we may not really know and have never seen portrayed on the screen, and that is what really attracted me to the part."
According to the film's Web site, Mooz-lum embraces four words: "Forgiveness, Tolerance, Hope and Identity." Basir said, "I hope this film is well-received and it opens minds, because right now, there is an immense amount of ignorance surrounding Islam and Muslim people and I just want to put a human face on it."
Awards and honors
- 14th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival 2010 - Best Narrative Feature
- Chicago International Film Festival 2010 - Official Selection
- 34th Cairo International Film Festival - Official Selection
- Basir, Qasim. "I Am a Muslimerican." Huffington Post, August 19, 2010.
- "Film 'Mooz-lum' Confronts Public Perceptions Of Islam" - National Public Radio, September 20, 2010.
- ""Mooz-lum": faith flourishing in freedom" - Contending Modernities, February 17, 2011.