Cinema Asian America: ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’

"The Reluctant Fundamentalist."

This month, Cinema Asian America on Xfinity On Demand presents the new thriller from acclaimed director Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding”, “The Namesake”), “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”

Based on the novel by Pakistani writer Moshin Hamid and starring Riz Ahmed, Kierfer Sutherland, Kate Hudson and Om Puri, the film begins in Lahore, 2011. At an outdoor café a Pakistani man named Changez (Riz Ahmed) tells Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American journalist, about his experiences in the United States, fresh from Princeton, seeking fortune and glory on Wall Street. The American Dream seems well within his grasp, complete with a smart and gorgeous artist girlfriend, Erica (Kate Hudson). But when the Twin Towers are attacked, a cultural divide slowly begins to crack open between Changez and Erica. Changez’s dream soon begins to slip into nightmare: profiled, wrongfully arrested, strip-searched and interrogated, he is transformed from a well-educated, upwardly mobile businessman to a scapegoat and perceived enemy. With time, he begins to hear the call of his own homeland. Taking us through the culturally rich and beguiling worlds of New York, Lahore and Istanbul, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a story about conflicting ideologies where perception and suspicion have the power to determine life or death.

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