After reading the synopsis of Torn , a film written by Michael Richter and directed by Jeremiah Birnbaum, I thought: Oooh, this might be yet another film on the post 9/11 era, blaming the Muslim community for all evil things that happened, and echoing all sorts of stereotypes that have defined America’s perceptions of Muslims around the world.
But Richter and Birnbaum proved me wrong. After watching Torn, I believe cinema can still surprise us with bold ideas and out-of-the-box unorthodoxy. I see this film as a liberating experience that would certainly make me re-think the very notion of stereotyping as it applies to Arabs and Muslims in American fiction films.
Torn tells the story of two American families whose sons are killed in a terrorist mall bombing. The two mothers, one of whom is a Muslim, find comfort in each other. Developments in the storyline show that the 16-year old Muslim boy is suspected to have played a role in the bombing, leading to a turbulent relationship between the two women. [Read more...]