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Muslim Twitter Reacts to Apple TV’s Latest Show #HalaMovie

by in Identity on 7th November, 2019

Twitter: Apple TV trailer

This week Apple TV tweeted the trailer to it’s new Apple Original film Hala, a coming of age story of a young Muslim girl. Hala has been written and directed by Minhal Baig and executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith. The trailer shows a young Muslim girl, who wears a headscarf, navigating “2 parts divided” between her family and her wider life. Hala’s Mother doesn’t approve of her skateboarding and Hala is presented as “seeking to be understood”. In the trailer Hala is seen to be kissing a boy in the car, praying, talking to friends, disagreeing with her Mother in the background of navigating her identity.The full movie starts with a voiceover of an Arabic prayer, and cuts to Hala masturbating in the bathtub. 

Baig says “There were certain moments in the feature with Hala and her mom that are very much lifted from my own life, but then there’s other parts or people that are composites, ” in an interview to Refinery29.

Muslim Twitter instantly reacted to the trailer with a range of opinions. Given that there have been a number of shows that present a meek and identity seeking Muslim woman who then finds liberation and power in a white boy, there has been much critique of the two minute trailer. However, some have also spoken out and see such critique of the trailer as unfair, as elements of the storyline presented is a lived reality for some as well as a part of Baig’s own experience. Najma Sharif on twitter has called it a “pile on” stating that “I can’t join a pile on involving a Muslim woman because I’ve been on the other side of that shit and it’s not fun. Extend grace where you can and be mindful when you share your critiques about the things we create because we should be able to grow as creatives without fear.”

Suhaiymah Manzoor Khan tweeted taking issue with the lack of range in stories being platformed, “fyi – the issue isnt that a story may be “true”, its a Q of y that partic story is the 1 platformed wen it bears tropes of so many weve heard b4… & wen there r no other stories platformed… in ideal world wed have 1000 diff stories so it cld exist w/o reinforcin violent tropes.” Manzoor-Khan alludes to it not being the work of Baig that could be seen as problematic in itself, but rather that there is only a single story presented when it comes to Muslim women. 

Amaliah Team

Amaliah Team

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