LIDF 2017
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Intifada NYC

The United States’ first public Arabic language school opened in New York City to a firestorm of controversy. Leading the criticism was a group called Stop the Madrassa, who claimed the school would indoctrinate students with radical Islamic, anti-American and possibly even terrorist ideology.

The school’s principal, Debbie Almontaser, bore the brunt of the attacks, and when Stop the Madrassa were able loosely to link her with a T-shirt reading “Intifada NYC” she was forced to resign. But she refused to give up, and the film follows the story of the school itself, the debate it provoked about religious and ethnic tolerance, national identity and freedom of speech, and Almontaser’s fierce battle to get her job back.

A stunning original score combines American jazz with Middle Eastern influences while the film itself mixes interviews and footage with graphic novel-style drawings.

To read our interview with director David Teague, click here.

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Photos from LIDF