How to make a movie about Muslims

All the talk in the South African film world is about the comedy “Material” these days, starring Cape Town stand-up comedian Riaad Moosa and Vincent Ebrahim of the popular BBC show The Kumars at No. 42). The film is also doing really well at the South African box office. I recently saw Material and I have to say it didn’t disappoint. Set in Fordsburg, a predominantly Indian neighborhood of Johannesburg, the film revolves around a young Muslim shopkeeper, Cassim Kaif (Moosa), on the cusp of taking over the family business upon the insistence of his father (played by Ebrahim). He struggles to honor his family’s needs and expectations while pursuing his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. He slips out in the middle of the night and performs to mixed crowds in Johannesburg’s downtown bars; something which for his father is more than haram.

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