Although his cutting lyrics speak provocatively about identity politics, it is not until Zed (Riz Ahmed) returns home after two years on tour that he is called by his real name: Zaheer. But it is the vulnerability of illness and his decreasing mobility that brings both focus and fragmentation – memories and hallucinations merge to the beat of Qawwali music and are haunted by fervent apparitions of a masked figure – conjuring the unspoken spectre of Partition, which looms large in his father’s unspoken words. Further bruising Zed’s ego is his nemesis – RPG, a young rapper whose face tattoos and crass lyrics bewilder him. Both a paean to the importance of cultural heritage and a sharply observed reflection on muscle memory, the richness of Tariq’s achievement lies in the details of this heady mosaic.
The 64th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express is all across the UK, inviting you to experience the world’s best new films wherever you are. Enjoy 12 days of UK premieres online via BFI Player or in cinemas throughout the UK - and also join us for a range of free-to-access digital events, XR and Immersive Art and more.