Four years ago, Oday met Danyal and learned about his background and his intentions to study Arabic and Islam. It was a joyful and informative meeting, and this interesting story piqued Oday's curiosity. When Danyal told Oday he was going to Egypt, Oday decided this was a story that needed to be told, and SAMEBLOOD was born. Over the next four years, we traveled back and forth between the Middle East and the US following the story. We made important discoveries, faced adversity, witnessed revolution. Through the lens of Danyal's experience, we captured fascinating moments in society that enrich and inform our story. Through the course of making this film, we have learned a lot about family, friendship, religious devotion, affinity, exclusion and so much more. We became closer to Danyal's family through the hours and hours of home video footage that we investigated, tracing the journey of one areligious boy in suburban Massachusetts who became a fluent Arabic-speaking and devout Muslim man.
We were so curious to see what reactions the rough cut would receive, and last week we were finally able to get our first feedback. We traveled to Reading, MA to screen the film for Danyal's family-- the film's subjects. Being able to bring everyone in the film together in one room, and allow each of them to glimpse aspects of their family members' lives they had never seen before, was very special. We listened to what everyone took from the film, what stood out and what affected people most, and we were thrilled that perspectives and opinions varied. The screening sparked some lively discussions about religion, extremism, xenophobia, women's rights and gay rights in the Middle East, and democracy. This first rough cut screening has proven to us that SAMEBLOOD is a film that needs to be shared, and we look forward to completing the final cut, and screening it for all of you in the future.