by Chris Bertram on January 16, 2005

On Thursday night I watched “Yasmin”:http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0420333/?fr=c2l0ZT11a3xteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9WWFzbWlufGh0bWw9MXxubT1vbg__;fc=1;ft=75;fm=1 , a movie by Kenneth Glenaan with a script by Full Monty author Simon Beaufoy. A somewhat didactic film dealing with the pressures on Muslims in the north of England since 9/11, it was on TV partly because it has failed to secure distribution to cinemas in the UK (or, I believe, North America). The film centres on the life of the eponymous heroine (played by “Archie Punjabi”:http://uk.imdb.com/name/nm0659544/ ), who lives a life split beween assimilation (changing out of hijab as soon as she’s safely out the door, flirting with workmates, driving a Golf GTi, going to the pub) and conformity (hijab in her community, arranged marriage to distant relative who wants to get British nationality, deference to patriarchal father). Patriarchal father is, however, a basically good man struggling to adapt to modernity; whereas gansta-rap, bling-sporting, drug-dealing (discount for a blowjob) brother is angry and alienated.

[click to continue…]