Coming to DVD and VOD tomorrow, Friday, March 8:
TIME FOR ILHAN
Hot Docs, Mountainfilm, Provincetown, Traverse City, Global Peace, Hamptons, Mill Valley, GlobeDocs, United Nations Association, Hot Springs Doc, Milwaukee
The story of Muslim Somali immigrant Ilhan Omar’s 2016 campaign for the Minnesota State Legislature.
Norah Shapiro’s campaign doc is being released at time when Omar is in the news for controversial statements made about America’s relationship to Israel. This project, of course, details an earlier time in her political career – not much earlier, as she only entered politics with the 2016 campaign chronicled here, when the community organizer decided to run against Phyllis Kahn for the Minnesota House of Representatives, an incumbent in office for more than four decades. Despite sexism within her Somali-American Muslim community, the growing tenor of Islamophobia around the country, and practical concerns about caring for her own family of three young children, Omar takes the plunge into politics, seizing the opportunity to bring the voice of her community into a sphere that has long felt exclusionary. While following the tried and tested conventions of campaign doc storytelling, including a late-developing scandal that threatens to undermine Omar’s efforts and underscores the prejudices she faces, Shapiro excels in capturing her subject’s charisma and determination, and the hopeful and inspiring message of bringing previously unheard voices into the political process.