When Hamtramck elected the first Muslim-majority city council in the United States, right wing media outlets published predictable fear mongering pieces about how the city would become a bastion of Sharia law.
Of course, that didn't come to pass. Instead, the melting pot that is Hamtramck produced a moving and fascinating display on the Democratic process in action.
That's what the filmmakers of "Hamtramck, USA
" sought to capture in their documentary about the city's 2017 election, which takes a look at the complexities of multiculturalism in this American town.
"Story is an important one, especially in a time of deep Islamophobia and anti-immigration," says Razi Jafri, one of the filmmakers and a former fellow in the Documenting Detroit Photography Fellowship. "Here's a story about a town that's full of immigrants, both the 'right,' white kind and others from all over the world. It has created some tensions even here. But it's also a celebration."
The documentary, whose production is mostly completed, followed the mayoral candidates throughout their campaigns and features extensive interviews with Hamtramck residents.
But the filmmakers need a little extra help to cross the finish line and are looking to raise $55,000 by Jan. 31. They've started a crowdfunding campaign on LaunchGood
, a platform for raising money for Muslim-led or -centered projects.
Proceeds from the campaign will go towards editing, marketing, and developing a curriculum around the film.