On the eve of the 2016 election, a group of first generation high school students from a Bangladeshi Muslim community in Hudson, NY are thrust into a complex web. For the next six years, six teenagers — Mahmuda, Jahed, Ramisa, Saddique, Farzana, and Jabin — confront xenophobia, the cost of forbidden love, identity struggles, and their conservative parents' idea of the American Dream.
Hudson, New York saw an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants in the mid-1990s come to work as low wage laborers in a button factory that closed on the eve of September 11. Both the scarcity of manufacturing jobs and the post-9/11 Islamophobia in America left the Bangladeshi community devastated. Anti-Muslim rhetoric hung over the older generation as they struggled to support their growing families while becoming increasingly insular. Meanwhile, the younger generation is college-bound with scholarships, and see themselves as young ambassadors of Islam. But in the wake of the 2016 election, the ways they see themselves in relation to their country are thrown into flux.
In college, the students find themselves navigating their relationships to their faith, families, ethnicities, and peers. Some make efforts to assert their independence from their upbringings, while others re-commit themselves to their cultural and religious backgrounds. Among the decisions the students wrestle with, whether a not to wear a hijab becomes a focus of how they choose to express their identities. Others find themselves developing values and lifestyles that put them in direct conflict with those of their parents and community, which is experiencing its own crisis as the socio-economic character of Hudson begins to change.
Throughout six years of major cultural shifts, divisive politics, and the pandemic, Hudson, America is a platform for the six Gen Z Muslims' struggles with anti-immigrant sentiments, generational conflict, sexual orientation, and guilt. Through their voices, the film becomes a stage where immigrants like the Hudson students are the new weavers of the American Dream, while also exploring what it has meant to be a young person living through some of the most turbulent years in US history.
FILMMAKERS' STATEMENT: "At different times in both our lives, we the filmmakers, experienced immigration, alienation, and religious oppression and understand first hand, the struggles and the obstacles the Hudson kids face. That is why we feel passionately that the current political polarization offers a unique opportunity to understand immigrants, especially first-generation immigrants, torn between two worlds, through the eyes of Generation Z, the most diverse generation ever. Our film attempts to weave a compelling tale of love, generosity, struggle, and redemption.
We strongly believe that the story of these exceptional young teenagers inching towards adulthood, will leave a profound impression and inspire audiences of all ages."
— Zuzka Kurtz and Geoffrey Hug
Preview link available upon request. Contact [email protected] for more information