The Infidel (2010)

The Infidel
Director: Josh Appignanesi
Writer: David Baddiel
Cast: Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff, Archie Panjabi, James Floyd, Yigal Naor, Amit Shah, Matt Lucas

Plot:
Shortly after Mahmud’s (Omid Djalili) mother dies, he – a not particularly devout but believing muslim, well-integrated into the local muslim community – finds out that he was adopted. Not only that, Mahmud was born Jewish. That discovery throws him into a bit of an identity crisis, especially when the local rabbi (Matt Lucas) refuses that he can see his natural father before he has learned at least the basics of Judaism. So Mahmud swallows his antisemitic tendencies and enlists the help of cabby Lenny (Richard Schiff) to teach him. And as if that wasn’t enough, at the same time Mahmud’s son Rashid (Amit Shah) and the entire family have to appear particularly devout so that Rashid’s fiancée’s stepdad Arshad (Yigal Naor), an extremely conservative religious leader, gives his consent to their marriage.

I really enjoyed The Infidel. The film manages to treat religion respectfully but not be so awestruck that you can’t point out religious shortcomings – a rather difficult tightrope walk. But above all, it is funny, very well written and has an excellent cast.

Continue reading