Mario Mattei

Season 2011 Episode 10.11.11

~ex:change

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Popular rhetoric supposes Western and Islamic “civilizations” are bound to “clash.” But is this true? This micro-documentary explores a heart-touching friendship between Molly (American) and Anum (Pakistan) as well as the positive and sometimes challenging experiences of two other Muslim exchange students in America. Millions of Muslims around the world are being demonized as “extremists” or “terrorists” because of the heinous acts of a few. Much of this is fueled when media, politicians, and religious leaders present conflicts as binary oppositions--good vs. evil. As these Muslim youth mature amidst this global context, they find themselves struggling to dissociate themselves from extremism. Western youth approach adulthood pre-conditioned to fear Muslims. Likewise, young Muslims often perceive Western youth as unanimously materialistic, immoral, and arrogant--devoid of family values, faith, and honor. My motivation in creating this short film was to "love my neighbor" as Jesus taught. It's that simple. Muslims are my neighbor and yours, too. Breaking down harmful stereotypes in all directions is good for everyone. It helps us see each other as we are--people. Remember, we can disagree on our theology and agree on our humanity. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons and daughters of God." - Jesus Directed & Produced by Mario Mattei Edited by Peter Bergmeier Photography & Graphics by Mario Mattei Animation by Peter Bergmeier Audio by Peter Bergmeiermoreless

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