POWELL, Wyo. - The triumph of hope over hate is celebrated Thursday, April 2, when the documentary "A Dream in Doubt" is shown at 7 p.m. in Room 70 of the Fagerberg Building at Northwest College. The film's producer, Preetmohan Singh of Washington, D.C., will be present for the viewing and discussion afterward.
The one-hour film, first shown in 2007 on PBS' Independent Lens series, examines America's first post- 9/11 revenge killing. It features Rana Sodhi, an Indian immigrant whose life was forever altered in October 2001 when his brother, a Sikh man who wore a turban and beard, was murdered in Phoenix, Ariz. Other films have examined the balance between national security and civil liberties, but "A Dream in Doubt" is the first to explore hate crimes on a familial level.
A Sikh himself, Singh could feel the fear many other Americans couldn't even fathom when a man named Frank Roque gunned down Balbir Singh Sodhi at a gas station in October 2001. Roque claimed he was rooting out terrorists.
The Sikh religion has no relation to Islam, nor has it been associated with terrorism. After Sept. 11, however, American perceptions of a Muslim man's appearance cast a dark shadow on followers of the Sikh faith.
After Rana Sodhi's eldest brother was gunned down, his next-oldest brother was murdered under mysterious circumstances less than a year later. Then a close friend was shot by three men who yelled "Go back to where you came from" during the attack. Three weeks later, another of Sodhi's friends was physically assaulted and threatened with death.
"A Dream in Doubt" follows Sodhi as he dealt with the grief of his brothers' murders by working to educate fellow Phoenix-area residents about hate crimes. He became a spokesman for the Sikh community and strove to normalize life by continuing to operate his gas station and protecting his family, especially his three school-aged children.
The documentary has garnered numerous awards and claims an award-winning cinematographer and editor among its contributors.
This 2009 Multicultural Events Series program is funded by the We the People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the NWC Multicultural Events Series, Powell Valley Community Education, NWC Student Senate, NWC Gay and Straight Alliance and St. John's Episcopal Church of Powell.
Admission is free.