Naz & Maalik

The secret relationship between two carefree highschoolers puts them in the crosshairs of the FBI.

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Director Jay Dockendorf
Producers Margaret Katcher, Jacok Albert
Screenwriter Jay Dockendorf
With Kerwin Johnson Jr, Curtiss Cook Jr, Annie Grier
USA 2015
86 mins
Festivals The Film Collaborative

Naz and Maalik are cheeky Muslim high-school students who spend their summer days arguing with their family, selling fortune cards and deciding whose bed they will sneak into at night. They wander around the sun-drenched streets of Bed-Stuy, New York, talking about life and love. However, their carefree mood is shattered by a weird encounter on a street corner. Suddenly they are no longer kids in a familiar neighbourhood, hustling lottery tickets and flogging incense to passers-by, but suspects whose movements come to the attention of the powers that be – in the form of a nervy FBI agent. When she realises a contradiction in the stories they have told about where they were the previous night, her suspicions seem confirmed and the political ramifications of the boys’ relationship, and their religion, is forced into sharp relief.

Jay Bernard