“Torn”: A Tale of Tolerance and Doubt

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.

Miriam and Ali in a scene from Torn. Via tornthefilm.com

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...]