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The Muslim World Through Movies

Experience Muslim families, history, and culture via film. Many of these are subtitled foreign language movies, originally filmed in Arabic, French, Lebanese, Farsi, and other languages. This list was created to enhance the library's Muslim Journeys programming throughout 2013, sponsored through a grant from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Band's Visit

The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, an Egyptian band made up of members of the Egyptian police force, head to Israel to play at a cultural event. When they are forced to find their own ride from the airport they end up in the small remote town of Beit Hatikva.

Brick Lane

A young Bangladeshi woman travels to London in the 1980s, leaving behind her home and beloved sister for an arranged marriage to an older man. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Nazneem struggles to accept her life, until the day she meets Karim.


A Lebanese rom-com set in a beauty shop, with quirky characters of all ages and backgrounds.

The Kite Runner

After years spent in the U.S., Amir is returning to Afghanistan, his childhood friend Hassan, and the past that he has left buried.

Le Grand Voyage

The stern father of a Muslim family living in France requests that his teenage son drive him to Mecca for the religious pilgrimage known as the Hajj.

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

A comedy: on a humorous mission for the U.S. government, Albert Brooks visits India and Pakistan.

Man Push Cart

Every night Ahmad sells coffee and donuts from a cart he pushes through the New York City streets, far removed from his former life as a Pakistani rock star.


In an African village, a woman gives shelter to a group of young girls who are facing a ritual female circumcision.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

An existential Turkish take on the police procedural.


The tale of an Afghan girl who dresses as a boy to go to school under the Taliban.


A precocious young girl grows up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in this animated French film.

Prince Among Slaves

In 1788 a slave ship sailed for the new world. On it was Abdul-Rahman, a young African prince. Abdul-Rahman would be sold into slavery and spend the next 40 years as a slave on the Foster Plantation in Mississippi.

Rana's Wedding

A 17-year-old Palestinian girl wishes to marry a man of her own choosing and only has 10 hours to do it.

The Road to Guantanamo

Three British Muslims are sent to Guantanamo and released two years later without charge. This docu-drama tells their story.


A Muslim woman living in Toronto is expected to avoid both swimming and men. While at the city pool, she falls for a man who's not Muslim. Can her love survive despite the family's disapproval?

A Screaming Man

A Chadian family drama with political resonance, set during a civil war.

A Separation

An Iranian family's sense of peace and sanity begins to crumble when a live-in father's health deteriorates, the daughter-in-law proposes divorce, and her husband is accused of assault by a caretaker. Close quarters and a maddening justice system only increase everyone's tension.

The Yacoubian Building

A collection of stories focusing on the tenants inhabiting an Egyptian apartment building. Based on the award-winning novel of the same name.