Two Gods
Spring 2021

Two Gods

About the Film

In the city of East Orange, New Jersey, a casket shop stands on the corner of N. 15th and William Streets. Inside, laboring amid the sawdust and the long pine boxes, are two men: casket makers, morticians working in the Islamic burial tradition, and mentors. Countering tumultuous home lives and the dangerous undertow of the streets, they have found a way, through the rituals of death, of teaching their young charges to embrace life. Two Gods tells the story of Sunnah Caskets proprietor Rashad and his employee Hanif, who take neighborhood kids under their wing to learn a trade, a tradition, and a way to better this world. Years ago, Hanif left a demoralizing cycle of addiction and prison time to work for Rashad. Deeply moved by the burial rituals the mortician performed, Hanif saw in them the possibility for his own redemption. Now, what Rashad once did for Hanif, and what Hanif wishes he could do for his own estranged son, the two men do for 12-year-old Furquan and 17-year-old Nas, teaching them to craft caskets and to master the practice of janazah: washing the dead and praying for their passage into the next life. Modeling the crucial role of faith and customs in cementing human connection, Rashad and Hanif teach compassion and empathy to young men at risk of slipping between society’s cracks into violence.

Discuss this film in the comments below.
Please review our comment guidelines.