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Directed by Jennifer Reeder
80 min | 2016 | USA | Not Rated
Presented in English and Spanish with English subtitles.
Zaynab (Fawzia Mirza), a Muslim lesbian, is forced to choose between conforming to her mother’s expectations of having a traditional Pakistani marriage or continuing a relationship with Alma (Sari Sanchez), a confident Mexican American artist.
Zaynab’s relationship with her recently widowed mother is further complicated by the home they share and her mother’s intentional isolation: she experiences the world solely by watching television and viewing passers-by through binoculars. Zaynab’s inability to be honest with her mother about her romantic relationship eventually becomes a source of conflict because Alma is open and accepted by her former professional-wrestler mother.
In an effort to cope, Zaynab, an immigration lawyer by profession, enlists the help of a client to train in lucha libra, a style of Mexican wrestling. As the film progresses, Zaynab gains skills inside the ring that give her the strength and inspiration to live authentically in the outside world.
Set in Chicago, Jennifer Reeder’s Signature Move uses humor and heart to explore how to reconcile identity and cultural expectations.
— Leah Langan
Official Selection: 2017 SXSW Film Festival; Closing Night Gala Film: 2017 BFI Flare Film Festival
Preceded by the short films
I’ve Lost My Taste For Yogurt (3 min) directed by Katy Lueck and Post-Apocalyptic Potluck (11 min) directed by Guinevere Turner