As I wrote last month, “Blinded by the Light” is the very definition of a “feel good movie.” Springsteen fans will love it.
The most encouraging thing to me has been the extent to which the film has connected with people so outwardly different from the characters in the film. In New York, I had a couple from New Jersey approach me after a screening to tell me how much they connected with the film. They had never met any other British Pakistanis. “You are just a Pakistani version of us,” the man said. It seemed such a simple statement but, in a time when the president and his supporters seem determined to deepen divisions by saying that certain communities who pray or look a certain way have less right to claim citizenship, it felt hugely significant and cheering.
In “Long Walk Home,” written after George W. Bush was elected for his second term, Springsteen sang that the “flag flying over the courthouse means certain things are set in stone. Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t.”
The America I fell in love from afar all those years ago will have to take a long walk home. Yet conversations with Americans who were moved by the story of a brown, Muslim boy from a British town left me with hope.
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