My Son the Fanatic

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Based on a short story of the same title by British novelist Hanif Kureishi, My Son the Fanatic tells the story of an Islamic family headed by an alcoholic taxi driver in a northern English town. The film, which was written by Kureishi, was released in 1997 to critical acclaim and won a number of awards at independent film festivals around the world.

My Son the Fanatic opens with the life of immigrant taxi driver Parvez who arrived in England from Pakistan many years before; all initially seems well in the family as Parvez's son, Farid is engaged to the Chief Inspector of Police's daughter Madeleine Fingerhut. After a stiff, uncomfortable meeting between the Fingerhut's and the immigrant family Farid breaks off the engagement, claiming the Fingerhut's do not approve of the relationship. After the breakdown of the relationship Farid becomes radicalized in fundamentalist Islamic teachings.

Parvez is involved in a loveless marriage with his wife and spends his nights working as a taxi driver when the most money is available by legal and illegal means. To earn extra money Parvez drives prostitutes and their clients around; in doing so he befriends a prostitute called Bettina. As he drives Bettina and her clients around, Parvez forms a strong bond with the woman and becomes unhappy with her treatment at the hands of her clients. At home Parvez begins to hide from his family in his basement where he listens to music and drinks alcohol; upstairs in the rest of the house Farid moves a radical preacher into the house and holds meetings with other radicals. As his house is taken over by the radicals Parvez spends more time in his basement and working growing ever closer to Bettina until the two share a kiss.

| 1997 | 1 hr 27 min | 6.9/10
Om Puri, Rachel Griffiths, Akbar Kurtha, Stellan Skarsgård
Udayan Prasad
Produced By
Chris Curling
My Son the Fanatic
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Also directed by Udayan Prasad