The Taqwacores : A Muslim Punk Rock Movie
Release Date: 22 October 2010 (USA)
Writers: Michael Muhammad, Eyad Zahra
Director: Eyad Zahra
Runtime: 83 min.
So, about 2 weeks ago the satellite TV service in my house got turned back on, and in the midst of my channel surfing I stumbled across the movie “The Taqwacores”. Having already seen the documentary “Taqwacore : The Birth Of Islam Punk” I was immediately drawn in. I figured it would be the Muslim answer to S.L.C. Punk and I was right.
The Taqwacores is a movie based on the novel of the same name by Michael Muhammad Knight. It follows the story of Yusef, a first generation Engineering student in college, who moves into an off campus house full of non-traditional Muslim punk rockers in Buffalo, New York. Being incredibly square, Yusef, is increasingly influenced into questioning his religion, and all around way of life through the help of his mohawked, patched and studded roomates. Jehangir (the one with the mohawk) steals the spotlight throughout the movie telling stories and cracking jokes, and putting together the Taqwacore punk show at the end of the movie, while also trying to make peace between everyone. Over all the movie is kind of a coming of age story with the usual sexual troubles and finding your place in society, but it is different in that it has no real moral resolve at the end, However it does have the typical punk rock movie ending in that the most likeable character in the movie is killed off in the end. Yeah yeah yeah, spoilers, get over it. Its a formula for all punk/skinhead subgenre movies. If you don’t expect it, after SLC punk, American History X and Romper Stomper, well… you’re slow to catch on.
The Tawqacores is an excellent movie, its well written and well paced. All the characters, save for one, are very likeable and fairly well developed ,save foe a few who are left as kind of an enigma to be figured out at another date. If you, like me, are unfamiliar with Muslim terms, a few parts of this movie will probably leave you wondering what the hell was just said…. but it in no way detracts from the movie as a whole.
For sure if you have the SHOWTIME channels , I’m not sure if it is available on NETFLIX, you should check this movie out. While it is based on a sub-sect of a genre that is small in of itself already, The Taqwacore is a soon to be cult classic.