The Taqwacores – Review

Posted January 26, 2010 in

The Taqwacores

Sundance Film Festival

Director: Eyad Zahra

Straight-laced college student Yusef is relived when he finds a house in Buffalo filled with Muslim roommates. From the moment that Umar, a sxe Sunni who rocks giant X’s on both of his hands, opens the door it’s very clear that this group of young Muslims is a little different. Their house is filthy and resembles your typical punk rock squat. The floor is covered in a combination of beer cans and puke, random friends can be found crashing on the sagging couch at any given time and the walls are covered in graffiti and band posters.  The kids involved with the Taqwacore scene (essentially Muslim punk rock) are described to Yusef as the crazy fuck ups of the Muslim community—individuals that asked too many questions saw things differently or liked to party a little too hard. They listen to classic punk bands, but also rock out to Taqwacore bands with names like Osama’s Tunnel Diggers. The cast of characters is strong and everyone seems to represent a genre of the types of folks you run into at punk shows. There is Amazing Ayyub, who resembles a young, strung-out Tim Armstrong, Rabeya, a riot grrl who wears a burqa covered in band patches and crosses out portions of the Koran that she sees as patriarchic, and Jehangir the ’77 drunk punk who refuses to shut others out of the scene. This is a group who pray on Friday afternoon (even allowing women to lead the prayers) and party on Friday night. The Taqwacores is a story made in the same vein as SLC Punk, but has been wrapped up in Islam. The characters in this film are stellar and so is the soundtrack. Although the story of disenfranchised youth turning to punk rock is nothing new, The Taqwacroes accurately depicts the feelings of living and partying in a punk house, attending chaotic house shows and the extreme tension that often exists between different subcultures within punk rock, be they Muslim punk rockers or not. ­

Jeanette D. Moses


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Screening Times:

January 24 – 5:30 PM – Prospector Square Theatre, Park City, UT

January 25 – 6:00 PM – Broadway Centre Cinemas VI, Salt Lake City, UT

January 28 – 11:00 PM – Holiday Village Cinema II, Park City, UT

January 29 – 12:00 PM – Holiday Village Cinema IV, Park City, UT

January 30 – 3:30 PM – Holiday Village Cinema II, Park City, UT