Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has worked tirelessly for her title – a journey that we can all be a part of thanks to Time for Ilhan. The documentary follows Ilhan and her dedicated campaign staffers throughout the 2016 campaign (which ended in Ilhan becoming the first ever Somalian-American elected to state office), and documents the challenges they faced while fighting for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Spoiler alert: there were a lot.
Somalian-born Ilhan fled to a Kenyan refugee camp at eight years old before relocating to the USA four years later, where she became an activist and policy analyst – and was eventually appointed as the third vice president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). Time for Ilhan is now nominated for the NAACP Image Awards for outstanding documentary, and as one of only two Muslim women elected to serve in the U.S congress last year, we have no doubt that Ilhan has only just begun breaking boundaries.
Ilhan is also part of the #DefundHate campaign, which aims to stop the funding of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol - an anti-immigrant programme that imprisons families and leaves them without humanitarian protection. The campaign protests the programme in the hopes that the money can be used for education, and to provide immigrants with healthcare and opportunities.
Director Norah Shapiro believes the documentary will inspire future Ilhans who haven’t thought about themselves in such positions, or those that fear there are too many barriers in place for them to follow their dreams. She also aims to show the public that they should take action, vote, and be positive about what is possible in politics. Time for Ilhan has already won multiple awards since premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival last year – and since our invite got lost in the post, we’ll be campaigning for Netflix to bring it into our homes.
Visit the official Time for Ilhan website for more information.