By Razi Jafri and Justin Feltman. A co-production of the Center for Asian American Media.
HAMTRAMCK, USA is a documentary exploring life and democracy in America's first Muslim-majority city. Hamtramck, Michigan was established by German immigrants and thrived in the 20th century with an influx of Polish Catholic arrivees drawn to the industrial boom of America. In recent years, Bangladeshi and Yemeni Muslim immigrants have revitalized Hamtramck, making it the first Muslim-majority city in the United States. The city prides itself on this diversity. However, as the election season begins, Hamtramck splits into factions, as each community jockey for representation in city hall.
The film follows Fadel al-Marsoumi, a young Iraqi immigrant and first-time candidate for city council, and Karen Majewski, Hamtramck’s first female mayor in the city’s 100-year lineage of Polish mayors. As election day approaches, candidates face various challenges and opportunities within the city’s numerous communities and work to build coalitions across religious and ethnic lines.
Watch our Meet the Makers: AAPI Stories & Filmmakers panel to learn what filmmakers Justin Feltman and Razi Jafri shared in the making of HAMTRAMCK, USA.