Film on 9/11 Aftermath Moves Audience

September 29, 2008

Author: Luz Lazo

Source: The Times-Dispatch

Some shed tears yesterday while watching "Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath," a film that evoked differing emotions and memories of Sept. 11, 2001.

The documentary, shown to a diverse group of about 100 people at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, ignited a conversation about a need in Richmond and across the country to educate about tolerance and respect for people with different beliefs and appearances.

It showcases stories of hate violence committed against Sikhs and Muslims after the terrorist attacks.

Filmmaker Valarie Kaur centered on the story of Balbir Singh Sodhi, the owner of a gas station in Mesa, Ariz., who was killed days after the 2001 attacks. He followed Sikhism and wore a turban, which was mistaken as a symbol of the faith of those responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The film also tells about other Sikhs and Muslims who were victimized and whose stories, Kaur said, were not told by the media.

Yesterday's screening was part of a national grass-roots campaign for a dialogue on racism and religion in America and was sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond.