Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam (2009)
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Michael Muhammad Knight's 2003 novel The Taqwacores told the story of a handful of Muslim punk rockers living in New York who form a band to spread the word about their faith. While the story was fiction, Knight's story inspired a small but vocal handful of real-life Muslim rock fans who struggle to combine their love of aggressive music with lyrics that celebrate Islamic teachings ("Taqwacore" comes from "Taqwa," an Arabic word which refers to deep and sincere religious faith, and "Hardcore," a speedy, stripped-down brand of punk rock that emerged in the 1980s). Filmmaker Omar Majeed hit the road with a pair of Muslim punk bands as they set out on a low-budget tour, with author Knight in tow, and Taqwacore: The Birth Of Punk Islam documents their adventures while offering a look at the individual musicians, the message they want to share, and their status as outsiders both in the punk rock scene and in American culture. (The film also follows the musicians as they visit Pakistan after the end of the tour.) Taqwacore: The Birth Of Punk Islam was an official selection at the 2009 Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam
The film follows the history of a hybrid cultural movement inspired by a novel.
It's easy to root against these coming-of-agers, who wear their confusion on their vintage T's and walk the line between self-persecution and deliberate outward agitation.
A documentary that -- like its protagonist -- isn't quite sure what it wants to say, but has enough Spinal Tap moments to at least loudly entertain.
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