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TIFF Next Wave Review: ‘Jinn’

February 14, 2019Ferdosa Abdi

Nijla Mu'min's Jinn is a delicate portrait of a young girl's self-discovery after her mother embraces Islam.

Summer (Zoe Renee) is a teenage girl whose normal growth is disrupted by her mother Jade (Simone Missick), who becomes a devout Muslim. Summer watches her mother find herself through her faith and expresses a desire to glow in the way her mother does, but her mother's faith is seemingly at odds with Summer's secular world view. Through the teachings of Islam, Summer begins to gain perspective of what her life has been like and how meaningless it has all been. However, embracing the multicolored scarves and attending several Jumu'ah prayers are not the only answers. Summer will soon learn that she must look within to find her truth.

The story is not new — we have seen teen dramas that have dealt with overbearing parents, concerns about popularity, and blossoming sexuality — but we have never seen it told from this perspective. Jinn is an artist's personal journey expressed on screen, and the lesson learned is that life is about living through experiences and coming out of them better and stronger. Sometimes those experiences include embracing religion.

Jinn screens Saturday, February 16th at TIFF Next Wave. Its runtime is 1 hr. 32 min.

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