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Covered Girls


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School Bd/College/University DVD: $225


 

Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Filmakers Library
Closed Captioned:
Running Time: 22 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2003
Available in French: No

Have you ever seen Muslim-American high school girls in full-length dresses and traditional hijabs (head scarves) playing full-court basketball? Prior to 9/11, the average Westerner had little more than one-dimensional views of Islam and Muslim women. Covered Girls opens a window into the lives of a colorful and startling group of Muslim-American teenage girls in New York and challenges the stereotypes many Americans may have about this culture. The film documents the daily experience of Kiren who coaches her high school basketball team, Amnah who has a black belt in Karate, and Tavasha who is cutting a CD of original rap songs. Their traditional clothing allows them to understand prejudices and to speak out about their faith, especially after 9/11, when people spat upon, pushed and threatened them. They are quite happy that their dress allows men to look at them as people instead of as sex objects. The film follows the girls from a Harlem recording studio to a Brooklyn mosque, revealing typical teenagers suddenly caught in a tug-of-war between religious extremism and the American dream. "Excellent Outreach tool" - Middle East Studies Association --- "By depicting the girls in their full-length dresses and hijabs behaving just like teens in western clothing, the film gently reminds us to observe the adage about not judging a book by its cover. The voices we hear are casual, straightforward and heartfelt The background rap music fits well into the black and white urban scene. This short film is an excellent choice for a discussion about bigotry amongst teenagers. Recommended' - Homa Naficy, Hartford Public Library, Hartford, CT for EMRO

Awards: National Women's Studies Association, 2004 --- Best Short Documentary, Nashville Independent Film Festival, 2003 --- Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, 2003 --- Official Selection, Walker Art Center's Women with Vision Film Festival, 2003 --- Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, 2003

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