Parents' Guide to

Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Excellent docu on Muslim high school football players.

Movie NR 2011 92 minutes
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This compelling documentary manages to do so much in such a short amount of time. The drama of the buildup as Fordson prepares to play their archrivals; the history of Fordson High School, Dearborn, and the settling of Arab-Americans there that goes back 100 years; the practicing of Ramadan during football season; the bigotry and prejudice experienced by those in the movie before 9/11, how it intensified after 9/11, and the challenges in balancing church and state all are thoughtfully presented throughout the film. The result is the portrait of an America all too familiar and yet, for far too many, not familiar enough.

What is extraordinary about Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football is how it shows how remarkably similar the players, coaches, families, and fans who rally around the local high school football team are to any other Midwestern community that does the same thing for their team every fall. This should come as quite a shock to those who believe that all Muslims are undercover terrorists in league with Al Qaeda and don't believe in the American way of life. For people who don't know any Muslims, the assimilation on display -- Fordson High School and Dearborn, Michigan are majority Muslim -- should come as a real eye-opener.

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