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YMMV / Paris, je t'aime

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  • Anvilicious: "Quais de Seine," made by the husband-and-wife team behind Bend It Like Beckham, is about the relationship between the ethnic French and the growing Muslim community in Paris. Some young Caucasian Frenchmen tease people as they walk by; when a Muslim woman about their age appears, they mock her and even try pulling off her hijab. A few minutes later, one of the young men approaches the woman to apologize. There's some playful banter between them, and he asks her why she wears the hijab, as she's "too pretty" to cover up her features. The Muslimah politely but firmly explains that she wears the hijab as a personal choice—she likes the way she feels in it, and it connects her to a heritage she's proud of. The woman walks away, and the young man, after some deliberation, follows her to her mosque and waits outside for her. But when she emerges, she's with her traditionally-dressed grandfather, who seems intimidating... until the first man actually talks to him. The grandfather is glad to hear that the man is studying history, and brags about his own granddaughter's focus on journalism and how she plans to tell stories about Paris from her unique perspective. He then invites the young man for tea, and the three chat as they walk off together to enjoy the meal. It's on the nose, yes, but it's also a much needed reminder about the everyday reality of living in a mixed community, and how simple communication, abandoning stereotypes, and getting to know one another are the keys to making those communities healthy and building bridges between people.

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