Their names are Hassan, Mohamed, Baquer, Bilal, and Ali, and they were all born and bred in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with a large Arab-American community. They drink Coke, eat pizza, sing the Star-Spangled Banner, and play American football. They are, in short, Americans. And like almost all their compatriots, they have ancestors who came from distant lands. But in this post-9/11 era, attitudes toward Muslims have changed, ranging from poorly formulated fear to rabid xenophobia. In Dearborn, there are two large high schools, Dearborn High and Fordson High. Every year, their football teams play a highly charged game against each other. This film begins with just a week to go before the 2009 game. It is Ramadan time, and despite heavy training schedules the Fordson players are fasting and only eat and drink after sunset. This collage of scenes of football games and daily life, combined with interviews with players, parents, and team staff, reveals a tight-knit community with faith in Allah as its bedrock. Aside from this constant in their lives, everyone is dreaming his own American dream. Some of these talented players might just continue on to a professional football career outside Dearborn; others will probably follow in their fathers' footsteps. Only one thing is important to the coach: winning against archrival Dearborn high.
Basma Babar-Quraishi for Quraishi Productions, Ash-Har Quraishi for Quraishi Productions
Rashid Ghazi for North Shore Films