Short film "The Invaders" tackles Islamophobia, and is what the world needs right now
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With Islamophobic attacks on the rise and racial tensions building, this short film The Invaders asks the audience to step into the shoes of a young Muslim-American teenage girl, Jayla, as she flees a mysterious pursuer. Writer-director Mateo Márquez artfully blends horror and science-fiction, distilling the seven minute short with a gripping sense of paranoia and fear. Not unlike the smash-hit Get Out which dominated conversation about race in film this year, the suburban setting of The Invaders, which might otherwise be non-threatening, becomes sinister in the light of the protagonist’s racial and religious identity. This film dramatises the very real fear that Islamophobia forces Muslims to live with, and audiences are left with no choice but to sympathise with Jayla as an innocent, victimised by systematic forces beyond her control. Without giving too much away, the film manages to address issues specific to the Muslim female experience like the lack of intersectionality in mainstream feminism, with practically zero dialogue. This, alongside a powerful homage to the Black Live Matter movement make this film a poignant, moving, angry piece of art. All too often the only brown faces that make it to film are playing the role of terrorists or taxi drivers. There’s been some move towards changing that in the last few years, but it’s still so important that films like The Invaders reach the largest audience possible. If you want to keep up to date with festival schedules, and where The Invaders might be showing near you, you can visit their campaign page here.