Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Infidel: Muslim Discovers He Was Born Jewish In New Comedy by David Baddiel

The Infidel, a new British movie by David Baddiel, and starring Iranian Baha'i stand-up comic Omid Djalili and Richard Schiff (remember him as Toby Ziegler in The West Wing?) sets up the improbable scenario of a Muslim taxi driver who discovers he was adopted and is actually Jewish.  As you can imagine, many funny situations develop as the film explores cultural differences and similarities between Jews and Muslims.  The message is that mutual tolerance can be achieved, but the road is sometimes confrontational, hazardous, unpredictable, and in this case, also funny.

As BBC News reported while the film was in production,
"It's a funny old comedy about Muslims and Jews", says writer David Baddiel, clearly used to summing up his film in a soundbite.
Director Josh Appignanesi (Song of Songs) is a little less succinct.
"It's about a sort of everyman chap, second generation Pakistani, a lovable guy who's a Muslim in an everyday way. But he finds out he's adopted, and his real name is it's Solly Shimshillewitz and he was born a Jew. That throws him into comic situations".
"With hilarious consequences!" adds Baddiel with a laugh.
Essentially, the message is that we are all the same. One scene shows Mahmud's shock as he enters a synagogue and realises that everyone looks like him. 
The film opens in the UK on April 9.  We assume that it will appear in the US soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the trailer.

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