Filmmaker Zeshawn Ali released the new official trailer for his feature directorial debut “Two Gods,” a documentary film that tells the story of Hanif, a Muslim casket maker and ritual body washer in Newark who takes two young men- Furquan and Naz- under his wing to teach them how to live better lives.
Two Gods, an official selection of Hot Docs, DOC NYC, Montclair Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Florida Film Festival and more, opens in theaters and virtual cinemas starting on May 21.
In an area of Newark where too many funerals commemorate tragically short lives, Hanif, an older man with a troubled past, works as a casket maker and ritual body washer. He is committed to his work and to his Islamic faith and is also a dedicated mentor to two local kids—Furquan, a confident 12-year-old who comes from a rough home and Naz, a 17-year-old who has been fighting through his own struggles as a young Black man growing up in Newark. Challenges come when Furquan’s home life becomes more turbulent and Naz gets caught up in a serious arrest. Hanif, struggling with the fear that he has failed as a mentor, begins to fall into a downward spiral.
Watch the trailer for Two Gods
Shot in exquisite black and white, Zeshawn Ali’s auspicious feature debut is a lyrical meditation on the importance of community and passing down generational knowledge through faith, brotherhood and redemption.
Director Zeshawn Ali is originally from Ohio and is a graduate of Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Two Gods is his first feature film.
Zeshawn commented, “Two Gods explores a meaningful story in a way that reflects the intimacy, spirituality and vibrancy of coming-of-age and the rituals of death. And through Hanif’s mentorship and the journey and struggles of him, Furquan and Naz, we learn that the fight to find purpose and meaning in those moments, both small and profound, is what finding faith is all is about. It reminds us all that to be human is to grieve love, and fight — for faith, for redemption, and for purpose.”