When filmmaker Tami Yeager set out to make a documentary about a surge in hate crimes following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she envisioned a movie that would reflect her shock and shame.
That was before the director met Rana Singh Sodhi, whose brother was fatally shot on Sept. 15, 2001, by a man who thought Balbir Singh Sodhi _ a Sikh who wore a turban as part of his faith _ was of Middle Eastern origin.
``I thought I'd make a film primarily focused on hate crimes,'' Yeager said. ``It wasn't my agenda to go out and make a film really emphasizing the American dream. But of the things I learned from Rana, for the first time in my life, I really understood what it meant to be American.''
Rana Sodhi's utterly upbeat, patriotic attitude is at the heart of Yeager's film, ``A Dream in Doubt,'' which will air nationwide May 20 as part of the PBS series ``Independent Lens.''
The film cuts between interviews and footage of Rana Sodhi and his family and news headlines and audio of 911 calls that recall the racially charged atmosphere in the months after Sept. 11. The result is a portrait of a hardworking family man attempting to live his own American dream amid extraordinary chaos.