New flicks with celebs in interfaith relationships and from interfaith backgrounds, plus their baby news!Go To Pop Culture
My coworker sent us all the link to the trailer for The Infidel, a new comedy by Anglo-Jewish writer David Baddiel. The film, which premiered in London last night, stars the British Iranian comedian Omid Djalili as a Muslim cab driver from the East End who discovers that he was adopted and that his birth family was Jewish. (Djalili is not Muslim; he’s Baha’i, but has played a lot of both Jewish and Muslim characters.) It also features Richard Schiff from The West Wing, playing a Jewish friend of the main character, and Archie Panjabi, who was the older sister in the film Bend It Like Beckham.
The film looks funny and it’s certainly relevant to some of the people who come to our site–we get a lot of children and grandchildren of interfaith families who find out they are Jewish. (You also might want to look at Aliza Hausman’s great profile of Sadia Shepherd, a real person who was raised in an interfaith Muslim-Christian household and found out as an adult that she was also Jewish.)
I do share some of the ambivalence that Shazia Merza, a Muslim comedian who acted as a script consultant, expressed in David Baddiel’s last video blog about the making of the film.
She then proceeds to tell what I thought was a pretty funny, feminist joke.
Baddiel sponsored a contest called Which Religion is Funniest? in order to have some stand-up at the movie premiere. Eh. I don’t know, perhaps it’s not the easiest subject for comedy It is a true pleasure to see what Yasmeen Khan calls “a small but vibrant interfaith comedy scene” in Britain, in her article about the movie for The New Statesman–Jewish and Muslim comedians working together to puncture stereotypes and deflate bias. Whether or not The Infidel makes its way to the US, let’s hope that spirit of collaboration comes here, too.
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