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Blinded by the Light
by Karen Pecota

Filmmaker Gurinder Chadha directs, produces and collaborates with screenwriters Sarfraz Manzoor and Paul Mayeda Berges in Blinded by the Light, based on Manzoor's acclaimed memoir "Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N' Roll."  Manzoor documents his love of songs by famed US musician, Bruce Sprinsteen. This delightful story brings a smile to the face and joy to the soul with music that uplifts the human spirit.

Javed (Viveik Kaira), a British teen from Pakistani heritage lives in Luton, England. In 1987, racial discrimination was all too common and families that felt this turmoil often had issues with job security. Families had to work together to make ends meet adding undue pressure on teens from cultures outside of British norms.

Javed deals with the pressure by writing poetry. It's his means to escape the injustice he experiences within his neighborhood, not to mention the frustration with his traditional Pakistani-Muslim father and his lack of cultural flexibility.

A classmate introduces Javed to the music of Bruce Springsteen (The Boss) and immediately gains instant report with his message. The parallels to Javed's working-class life and so many songs of Springsteen's lyrics resonates beyond this teenagers comprehension. Javed is ignited with joy that he wants to tell the whole world of his new found joy for living. It's the expression he hoped his poetry would give him but Springsteen's music and lyrics go beyond what his poetry could ever do for him.

Javed begins to find his courage longed for in order to make his voice heard. With a little help from his friends, Ms. Clay (Hayley Atwell), Malik (Kulvinder Ghir), Eliza (Nell Williams), neighbor Matt (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Matt's father (Rob Brydon), the narrative in Blinded by the Light puts a skip in ones step, a smile on each face and a joy in ones soul when one will choose to love unconditionally with courage of a Lion.