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Hudson, America

By Alan Ng | September 20, 2022

Siddique is probably the one who has embraced the American dream the most. He wants to start a company and marry a college fashion major, which doesn’t exactly sit well with his parents. He also supports his community by raising funds to build the only mosque in Hudson. Mahmuda is the oldest of the group and attends college throughout most of the documentary. She speaks of how courage makes her powerful and desperately wants independence. While in college, she begins dating Nadia and must hide her lesbian relationship from her parents.

Jahed is a devout Muslim. Though he is dating a traditional American girl, he must hide the truth from his parents. Their relationship is already on the rocks as he respects her decision to remain a Catholic but wants to raise his family to be Muslim. Jabin is portrayed as the most politically active in the group. She organized a vigil in response to the travel ban. She takes up causes for Muslim women, which displeases the men. Her most significant “crime” was calling out a Bangladeshi man who sexually assaulted her, Exposing the truth quickly made her an outcast.

“…our goal is to understand those who are not like us…”

Hudson, America is a modern take on the immigrants’ story in America. It’s hard enough to be caught between two worlds, but as teens, adolescence always makes life much more complicated. The students are all highly reflective about their lives and transition to adulthood. They speak eloquently about their culture, religion, and their new homeland, which isn’t exactly embracing them with open arms. The common thread is that the students are finding their own way of breaking from tradition and defining their lives as Muslim-Americans. My only complaint is that the students’ stories are told mostly through talking-head testimonials, and I would have liked to have seen more real-life personal moments.

If you’re drawn to slice-of-life documentaries like me, then Hudson, America is right up your alley. The film shines a spotlight on a group or community that I’m not familiar with, being centered on the Muslim community. Documentarians Kurtz and Hug just let the cameras roll on their subjects, giving us an unfiltered life of the next generation of American immigrants. If, at the end of the day, our goal is to understand those who are not like us for the sake of living in this salad bowl of America, then this documentary is a great place to start.

Hudson, America screened at the 2022 Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival.

For screening information, visit the Hudson, America official website

Hudson, America (2022)

Directed and Written: Zuzka Kurtz, Geoffrey Hug

Starring: Mahmuda Alam, Jahed Miah, Ramisa Tasmin, Jabin Ahmed, Farzana Akhter, Siddique Ahmed, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Hudson, America Image

"…finding their own way of breaking from tradition and defining their lives as Muslim-Americans."

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