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Signature Move

Signature Move (2017)

March. 11,2017
| Drama Comedy Romance

A secret new romance with Alma forces Zaynab to confront her complicated relationship with her recently widowed mother. In this coming-of-age Muslim melodrama, Zaynab copes by taking up Lucha-style wrestling.


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Unless your life is all about being black, being gay, being white, being Muslim, being Christian, being a woman, being a man, etc. you can skip this film entirely. I hope one day we don't need to make art about trivial things like being gay, which shouldn't matter, nor should being black, muslim or however you "define" who you are. But these days everything seems to fall under identity politics. All individual traits and personality seem to be forgotten and all the focus is on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation is what matters now.I don't care "what" you are, but that shouldn't be the premise of a movie. At least it shouldn't be the underlying driving force behind it. Because then it becomes about that, not what each of us do. Besides there are already a million movies that cover being gay, black or whatever. This brought nothing new to anything already made.The film is way too forced, and there is a line in the beginning from the lead saying about something on TV "this doesn't happen in real life." Well, ironically this is what I felt about this movie.The bottom line is that these type of films are really just a tool to seek acceptance. And the biggest issue I have with these "social conscience" films is for the most part they are recognized and celebrated ONLY because of the underlying identity message.It's okay to care about social issues, but don't ONLY care about social issues. I just don't like movies that are didactic.This was just an amateur student film. BTW, if the early bar pick up had been a man doing it to a woman, the same people making this film would have called the police for sexual harassment.


It is a really funny and relaxing film. It really make me laugh. And especially love the mom part, which introduced the conflicts between old immigrants and the new elements. It make people reflect these serious topic in the laughters. Nice work! Also Shabana Azim and Fawzia Mirza really interpreted their roles perfectly!


Signature Move (2017) was directed by Jennifer Reeder. It's a pleasant enough lesbian love story. What makes it somewhat unusual is that the two lovers come from very different cultures.Fawzia Mirza portrays Zaynab, a very successful immigration lawyer, who lives with her mother, Parveen, played very well by Shabana Azmi .Sari Sanchez portrays Alma, a woman who lives within Chicago's Mexican-American culture. Sari's mother is a wrestling coach. Zaynab begins to take wrestling lessons. The remainder of the film is based upon the chemistry between Zaynab and Alma and Zaynab and wrestling.The publicity for the films warns us that Parveen's quest for a husband for her daughter isn't played stereotypically. (If the publicity warns you that something isn't so, it usually means something is so.) Parveen is so eager to find a husband for her daughter that she searches the street with binoculars. (Looks stereotypic to me.) However, Shabana Azmi is so skilled that we can enjoy her acting, even if the part she's given isn't realistic. Both Fawzia Mirsa and Sari Sanchez are fine actors as well, so the movie is strengthened by the strong acting of the leads.We saw this film in Rochester's excellent Little Theatre. It was shown as part of the wonderful ImageOut, the Rochester LGBT Film Festival. It will work well on the small screen, and is worth seeking out and watching.


Signature Move was well-received at its world premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. It is a beautiful film. As the director alluded to in her introduction, the film is a lesbian love story between a Pakistan- American Muslim immigration lawyer and Mexican-American bookstore owner in a peaceful diverse Chicago. Basically, it is about everything Donald Trump hates! More seriously, it is about a diverse multicultural melting pot where people of different cultures come together and learn from each other and grow and sometimes come to love each other. The film is well-acted and the script is quite subtle. I particularly enjoyed the performances of Fawzia Mizra as Zaynab and Shabbana Azmi as her mother. The family relationship as Zaynab gradually figures out how to share her true self with her traditional mother is compelling. There are parts of the story that are a little too predictable, but basically it very enjoyable and a great anecdote to today's mean-spirited political climate.