Momtaz for Prez.
“Feminism, innit”: band manager Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse) is hilariously conceived and portrayed (and her niqāb collection is stunning) in creator / writer / director Nida Manzoor‘s sweet comedy mini-series about an all-female BAME Muslim punk band.
It’s twee in places, and at times perhaps more cartoony than it needs to be (especially when its comedy has strength and heart enough), but still very much in the tradition of feelgood we’re-getting-the-band-together films from The Commitments (1991) to Sing Street (2016). What distinguishes We Are Lady Parts is, of course, its representation – and its feelgood-est (feelbest?) feature is the warmth with which it explores its various intersections of Muslim backgrounds and experiences, particularly of found families.
One of Manzoor’s best decisions is the flip of Amina’s (Anjana Vasan) family dynamic: her wonderful parents, especially her fantastic mother Seema (Shobu Kapoor), are not only more progressive than Amina, but are genuinely interested in seeing their daughter thrive – “crucially” – in her own way.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this in a rom-com,” Amina tells fake-boyfriend Ahsan (Zaqi Ismail) in Ep 3, but this falls apart pretty quickly: we haven’t seen something quite like We Are Lady Parts before. Hopefully we’ll see much more.
The theme of family in the series stems directly and intentionally from Manzoor’s childhood band with her siblings, who also created the series music and mentored the non-musician actors, as she reveals in We Are Lady Parts: A Conversation with Creator & Cast (via ATX TV):