How far would you go for a piece of the American Dream?
|“A story about the war on terror, brought home to a Seattle suburb.”–Moira McDonald, The Seattle Times||“This is happening everywhere.”–Matt Lynch, The Stranger|
|“…a Kafka-esque view of the bureaucracy of the Department of Homeland Security, the terrifying spectre of kangaroo courts outside the US Judiciary, and the human wreckage left in its wake.”–Programming, True/False Film Festival||“Interviews with the family drill home just how American [Barzan] truly is, but just how unamerican the policies toward people can be once accusations of terrorism surface.”–Jacob Ogles, SRQ Backlot|
|“Stuteville does her best to get to the truth, but Barzan is more about the human cost to U.S. deportation policies; and since 9/11, Malkandi’s story is only one among three million.”
- Seattle Weekly
Sam “Barzan” Malkandi, an Iraqi refugee to the US and beloved father, was working toward his piece of the American Dream in a Seattle suburb. But a footnote in ‘The 9/11 Commission Report,’ connecting him to a high-level Al-Qaeda operative through his childhood nickname, changed everything.
To neighbors, Sam Malkandi was the model immigrant and perfect family man. He worked hard to buy a house, secure a better future for his children and assimilate to American life. To investigators, Malkandi was a cold-blooded terrorist that represented a potential link between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. To audiences, Malkandi is a mercurial character whose story embodies controversial issues of immigration, xenophobia, and the price of security in the 21st century.
Shot both in Iraq and Seattle, and featuring haunting sand animation sequences, the film takes audiences on the epic geopolitical journey of a family torn apart by suspicion, and examines the opaque government agencies charged with keeping us safe, even at the cost of freedom.