MUST END THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
DIRECTED BY BASSAM TARIQ
CO-WRITTEN BY AND STARRING RIZ AHMED
NY Times Critic's Pick
3:20 & 6:00 ONLY
Fresh off his riveting, Oscar-nominated performance in SOUND OF METAL, Riz Ahmed (aka Riz MC) stars in and co-writes, with director Bassam Tariq, this fierce, hallucinatory “true fiction”– playing Zed, a tetchy British Pakistani rapper whose lyrics fulminate on immigrant identity and politics. On the eve of his breakout world tour, Zed confronts a crisis that rekindles his fraught relationship with his father — an emotional deep-dive that’s also a metaphor for decades of Indian-Pakistani tensions. Feverish, vibrant dream sequences featuring a stalking marigold-faced spirit and Zed’s blazing hip-hop battles are intercut with his vulnerability and desperation. True to form, Ahmed delivers a knock-out performance—portraying a version of himself as well as something larger, facing both personal demons and those of history.
2020 90 MINS UK / USA IN ENGLISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES STRAND RELEASING
Presented with support from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Fund
Listen to Riz Ahmed on The New Yorker Radio Hour podcast.
“Critic’s Pick. Electrifying. The puzzles and paradoxes of identity are the wellsprings of (Zheen/Zed’s) art… He writes seething, witty rhymes about the complicated history of the skin he lives in. MOGUL MOWGLI, Bassam Tariq’s astute, compact fictional feature debut, is a portrait of the artist as a son, brother and patient… existing somewhere between dream and memory, fantasy and hallucination… Tariq stitches domestic drama, satire and magical realism into a tissue of moods and meaning, held together by the shattering credibility of Ahmed’s performance.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Read the full review.
“A passion project co-written and produced by the star himself. If anything, Ahmed tears into it with even more wild-eyed magnetism [than in SOUND OF METAL]. (A) seething, spitting, can’t-look-away performance. This is gutsy, spiky, imperfect independent filmmaking that finds the formal gusto to complement and buoy its star’s aggressive dynamism. Ahmed affirms his standing as one of Britain’s most vital, risky actors.”
– Guy Lodge, Variety
“A blistering performance. Spoken-word poetry jostles against the writings on Partition of Pakistan essayist Saadat-Hasan Manto; painful family history blurs with hallucinatory memories. Ahmed, himself a rapper, makes sure that every line lands like a punch.”
– Wendy Ide, The Financial Times (UK)
“Those familiar with his work as half of the duo Swet Shop Boys will recognize the mixture of aggressive hip-hop delivery as well as politics specific to South Asian immigrant experience… Tariq’s film takes on more delirious, magic-realist qualities. He keeps the camera extremely close to his subjects, magnifying everything that they observe into near abstraction...The two writers imbue the conflicts with a lively sense of humour… Confident and confrontational, exhilarating in its willingness to constantly shift gears between absurdist comedy and vulnerable, introspective narrative.”
– Kambole Campbell, Sight + Sound