There Has to Be a Knife
Omar Ali, 27-year-old line cook and petty criminal, gets a phone call from his ex-girlfriend's father at work, informing Omar that Anna has committed suicide. Unable to process or articulate his grief, and suffering from insomnia, Omar embarks on a quest to obtain her suicide note from her elusive parents. As he unravels, Omar finds himself getting involved in break-ins, online terrorism, dealing with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and losing his best friend as he becomes less recognizable.
There Has to Be a Knife examines expectations — both intimate and political — on brown men, exploring ideas of cultural identity and the tropes we use to represent them. (From Arsenal Pulp Press)
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"There's something interesting about stereotypes. They say so much about our culture. I wanted to push into them through the characters and evoke some of those feelings. Then by undercutting them it is a formal choice to make that stereotype come to light while trying to add a bit of humanity.
There's something really interesting about stereotypes. They say so much about our culture.- Adnan Khan
"I was curious to explore the flexibility within that concept of being a 'brown' person. The stereotype (of all dark-skinned individuals being terrorists, et cetera) limits how an individual can express themselves in moral and ethically ways. When you're viewed through certain prisms — be it a young man, a young brown man or a young Muslim man — and you start piling on those sort of intersections on individuals, it can be hard to express individuality when you have to engage with that wider context."