Muhammad and Jane | Chicago Reader

Muhammad and Jane

A laconic drifter born in Iraq (Piotr Tokarski) returns to Chicago to straighten out his U.S. immigration status, and though a friend warns him of the prevailing anti-Muslim sentiment, he unwisely hooks up with a desultory woman (Melina Paez), accompanies her to a hedonistic party, and attracts the attention of the FBI. Local video maker Usama Alshaibi is the sort of canny visual stylist who can sustain a mood even when the storytelling falters, which is certainly the case here: the characters' motives are vague, the plotting episodic, but the handheld videocam, tight close-ups, and disorienting angles create a potent sense of paranoia. The haunting score is by Andy Ortmann and Camilla Ha. 75 min.

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