Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN - DP

OUT 29 JULY / CERT 12A / 91 MINS DI­REC­TOR Conor Ibrahiem CAST Af­saneh Dehrouyeh, Aqib Khan, Matthew Thomas, Mouna Al­bakry

THE FIRST In a tril­ogy de­signed to change peo­ple’s per­cep­tions of the Is­lamic faith and cul­ture, di­rec­tor Conor Ibrahiem’s de­but film also has much to say about Brexit Bri­tain as a whole. Set in Brad­ford, a teenage loner (Thomas) be­comes in­doc­tri­nated by right-wing ide­ol­ogy and stabs a mosque leader, dras­ti­cally chang­ing the lives of his sec­u­lar stu­dent son, Yusuf (Khan) and eye­wit­ness Khadija (Dehrouyeh). Ibrahiem has a lot to learn about di­rect­ing, pace and ex­press­ing com­plex ideas as ev­ery­day speech, but his am­bi­tion can’t be faulted as he at­tempts to tackle Is­lam­o­pho­bia, the north-south di­vide, the sta­tus of women, home­less­ness and more. A sin­cere drama that should be seen de­spite its flaws.

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