In Search of Freedom, Inshallah (God Willing)
By Danish Renzu

Los Angeles-based filmmaker Danish Renzu talks about his upcoming short film, In Search of America, Inshallah. He is currently raising funds to make this beautiful movie.

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The film, In Search of America, Inshallah is based on Nelson Mandela’s famous quote, “Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression”. The film explores the meaning of freedom through the protagonist, Shaheen Iliyas, a Pakistani Muslim woman who arrives in America to find her identity.

A dependent Pakistani housewife comes to America to find her husband but is instead forced to find her own identity. It’s true that many women around the world are forced to obey all different kinds of restrictions and constraints laid upon them on the basis of their gender. Unfortunately, It’s assumed in many cultures that a good wife is to obey her husband and nurture her family like a silent partner in marriage without as many payoffs as she deserves. Women are “yes-women” to their husbands regardless of whether the husband is loyal, responsible or even abusive.

It’s very disturbing what women are assumed to just tolerate. I strongly believe that we all need to work toward changing mindsets about this issue and increase awareness about gender equality. My protagonist, Shaheen Ilyas, comes from a small town in Pakistan. She arrives in United States of America to look for her husband who came to America in search of livelihood but has not returned in five years. Bounded by the rules set by her husband and his family, she has been a good wife to her husband Ali, who is living an American dream yet expects Shaheen to oblige to all the traditions that come with a marriage.

Shaheen is an educated Muslim woman who will not stand this injustice done to her. She leaves her in-laws and lands in America to look for her husband Ali, who came to America in search of livelihood but has not returned in the last five years. Shaheen wants to know her worth, in her marriage, society and life. In her journey to find her husband she will understand who she is and what she really wants out of her life. She discovers a new sense of hope and a kind of freedom she only dreamed of. This discovery leads her to correcting her life and making decisions for herself. She is educated, and she can live with or without a man who treats her unequal and thinks low of her.

I feel that media has improved as the technology has progressed and media sharing has become easier for all people. A lot of different stories have surfaced and shown the world some naked and bare truth. However mainstream media is still biased towards many issues. Therefore my ultimate goal is to target the minorities and misunderstandings towards many aspects of the world today. Like the female Muslim role in films and stereotyping of some cultural or ethnic backgrounds. My film In Search Of America will bring about that change. There are well educated Muslims out there who need to focus more on what they could make out of themselves rather than what they are being obliged to be in order to please the so-called society driven obligations and rules. Time has changed. I am very eager to deliver the unforgettable feel of my script.

Please support the movie on our indiegogo page or directly contact us if you are interested in becoming our sponsors or partners so we can make this movie possible.


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