Thanks to a strict Muslim upbringing that largely shielded him from the outside world, Tariq’s first year of college proves transformative. That is, until the 9/11 terrorist attacks invite growing suspicion and distrust from his angry classmates.
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If Black men are already received as cultural outsiders in the U.S., then Muslim men are especially so. Often depicted as cartoonishly dichotomous, Basir tackles the subject from as many angles as flashbacks, montages, and didactic cinema will allow. Interestingly, the women of this film are the most fully self-actualized - a pleasant surprise. But ultimately it's a father-son dance, which Ross does nicely as Tariq.