‘Bilal’ paints portrait of Detroit blues

By Estela Fuentes
The Guardsman

“Bilal’s Stand” is a heartwarming, must-see film with which any student pursuing a higher education can relate.

City College was privileged with a promotional screening of the film and a Q&A session with Sultan Sharrief, the director of the movie, not long after he showed his film at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film is about a Muslim teenager, Bilal, growing up in Detroit, and his dream to pursue a higher education. Bilal is a religious and hard working student who does well in school and works in the dispatch office of the family’s cab company.

Bilal’s family is too preoccupied with making ends meet and attending to their own needs to understand the importance of getting a college education. So Bilal keeps his acceptance to the University of Michigan a secret as long as he can, but doesn’t equip himself financially to attend.

When he finally decides he wants to ask a counselor for help, he’s informed of the different ways he could have paid for college. The counselor offers him alternatives to paying expensive tuition himself.

The film is relatable because it shows different types of challenges that students face as they start their journey to college — from filling out financial aid and student loan forms to wanting to hang out with friends instead of doing your work.

Bilal’s Stand also reminds viewers of the challenges faced by students who work and go to school and how difficult it can be to make so many obligations fit into every day.

The Guardsman