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Friday, January 21, 2022

Controversial film ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ to open DTFF 2012


Director Mira Nair’s film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s Booker-nominated novel, will open the 4th annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival, which runs for eight days this year, from Nov. 17-24. 

The novel tells the story of how a Muslim Pakistani man named Changez falls in and out of love with America. 

It contains a controversial section where Changez is seen to smile as the twin towers fall on September 11th, 2001. Hamid writes:

“I stared as one — and then the other — of the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center collapsed. And then I smiled. Yes, despicable as it may sound, my initial reaction was to be remarkably pleased.”

The film, a political thriller which was financed by the Doha Film Institute, held its world premiere last week at the 69th Venice International Film Festival

The movie boasts an all-star cast, including Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber and Om Puri. 

Issa Bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi, DTFF’s vice chair, says of the film:

Films are a medium to bring together diverse views to promote the spirit of dialogue and discussion. 

As a festival committed to promoting cultural understanding and appreciation through cinema, we are excited to open with Mira’s latest creative work that will connect with our audiences. It’s topically relevant and complements our mandate to support meaningful cinema.”

Mira Nair, the film’s director, has worked with both DTFF and DFI previously. Her Amelia Earhart biopic opened the first Doha Tribeca Film Festival, and Nair’s Maisha Film Lab has partnered with the Doha Film Institute to provide Qatar residents cultural exchange opportunities with filmmakers and students from East Africa and South Asia.

Regarding her new film’s opening, she says:

“We are thrilled with the honour of The Reluctant Fundamentalist opening the Doha Tribeca Film Festival – made all the sweeter after the 5-year odyssey it has been making this film. A lovely send-off for a tale that couldn’t be more timely for the world we live in today.”

There doesn’t appear to be an official trailer released for the film yet, so here’s an unofficial one:


Credit: Photo courtesy of Kiefer Sutherland Facebook fan page

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