SXSW 2018 Review: JINN

By Jan Hamilton

Summer (Zoe Renee) is not a typical African-American high school senior from Southern California.  Her mother Jade (Simone Missick) is a TV weather forecaster and local celebrity.  Summer wants to dance and has applied to an art school for college.  She also is trying to define herself–exploring her sexuality, establishing beliefs, and finding her place in the world.  When her high-fashion mom suddenly decides to visit a mosque one day, Summer gets dragged along.

Jade continues going to the mosque and decides to convert to Islam.  Summer also finally begins showing interest in the religion and in a boy she meets at the mosque.  As much as she loves pepperoni, she finds it difficult to give up pork, though.  Just when things seem to be going well, an inappropriate selfie threatens to derail her peaceful life.  How she handles the fall out and who she decides to become form the crux of the film.  The film asks the question, “can a person live like a jinn (shape-shifter) and be more than what she is expected to be?”  This is an innovative and well-made film.  Zoe Renee does an especially good job in the lead role.

Film Credits:

Director:  Nijla Mu’min

Executive Producer:  Elton Brand, Mike Manning,

Angela Harvey, Tommy Oliver, Billy Mulligan, Simone Missick

Producer:  Avril Z. Speaks, Maya Emelle, Arielle Saturne

Screenwriter: Nijla Mu’min

Cinematographer: Bruce Francis Cole

Editor: Collin Kriner

Production Designer: Meghan Grimes

Sound Designer: Paul Zahnley, Matthew Strasser

Music: Jesi Nelson

Principal Cast: Zoe Renee, Simone Missick, Kelvin Harrison, Jr.,

Hisham Tawfiq, Kelly Jenrette, Dorian Missick, Ashlei Foushee,

Maya Morales, Damien D. Smith

Additional Credits: Costume Designer: Beth (Bephie) Gibbs,

Colorist: Sean Wells

 

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