This week on Black on Black Cinema, the guys are back to discuss the 2015 indie film, Naz & Maalik. The film follows two young Black Muslim men who are stuck between the aspects of their religion, their romantic love for one another, and doing all of this is a post-9/11 world rife with stereotypes, assumptions, and harassment.
The film follows two high-school friends, Naz and Maalik, who spend a hot summer day bopping around Bedford-Stuyvesant hustling lottery tickets, as well as trying to make sense of their new—and highly secretive romantic—relationship. Over the course of the afternoon, the boys’ petty—though illicit—small-time scheming, along with their secretive dashes into alleyways to kiss, sets a high-strung FBI operative named Sarah Mickell on their tail. Having observed the teens' erratic and mountingly tense behavior, Mickell worries these two may, in fact, be radicalized Muslims, and surveils them as they go through their day. Naz and Maalik's carefree afternoon starts to darken when they realize they’ve given Mickell different alibis and the boys begin to panic about being uncovered by their families.