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Running Time: 90 minutes
Cast: Madeyln Alexander, Samantha Kressevich, Raffi Atamian, James Boutcher, Kyle Cheesman, Giorgio Cole
Director: Ashish Chanana
Description: [Screening @ Tiburon Film Society]
The first dramatic feature film to tackle the disturbing ISIS phenomenon, Afreen takes an unblinking, uncompromising look at the roots of extremism, and offers difficult solutions that the governments, religions, and peoples of the world ignore at their own peril. Two years ago, a failed attack on the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa left two men dead. Now, unbeknownst to the public, another attack plot is brewing in the city of Toronto...
On 22 October 2014, MICHAEL ZEHAF-BIBEAU, a radicalized Canadian Muslim, shot and killed a sentry at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, subsequently stormed Parliament, and perished in a hail of gunfire.
Official investigations determined the crazed gunman acted alone. But did he? Or, worse, had he belonged to a deeper network of organized terror cells embedded in Western society... cells determined to strike even harder?
In late 2015, filmmaker AASHISH CHANANA set out to answer those questions. And as the global bloodbath of 2016 unfolded - with ISIS at the peak of its power and influence - he discovered a chilling connection between Zehaf-Bibeau's rampage and a thwarted bombing attempt in Toronto two years later to the day - an attack that would have slain hundreds. The resulting film, Afreen, reconstructs that connection - revealing disturbing ISIS activities in the heart of the modern West, showing just how close the people of Toronto came to suffering a 9/11-level catastrophe, and, most importantly, shedding light on the life of the troubled and all-too-human young woman at the very center of the terror plot.
At once a moving drama, a breakneck thriller, a gut-wrenching war parable, and a tender love story, Afreen is a film of, and for, our uncertain and tumultuous times.
A work of dramatic, suspenseful entertainment as well as a message of lasting importance, AFREEN is bold enough not only to raise sensitive questions in a raw, visceral fashion, but to answer them as well.
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