Documentary | 2007 | 57 mins | DVD | Closed Captioning | Study Guide Available
Grade Levels: High school and up
Four days after the 9/11 attacks, Balbir Singh Sodhi was gunned down at his Phoenix area gas station by a man named Frank Roque. To Roque, Balbir Sodhi’s beard and turban—articles of his Sikh faith—symbolized the face of America’s new enemy. Seeking retaliation for 9/11, Roque killed Sodhi and went on to shoot at a Lebanese American man and fire multiple rounds of ammunition outside an Afghan American family’s home.
A DREAM IN DOUBT follows Rana Singh Sodhi, Balbir’s brother, as he attempts to fight the hate threatening his family and community. The Sodhis had fled ethnic violence in India to pursue their version of the American dream. But less than a year after Balbir’s murder, Sukhpal Sodhi, Rana’s next-eldest brother, is killed in mysterious circumstances while driving a cab in San Francisco. Nine months later, Rana’s friend Avtar Chiera is shot by three men who yell, “Go back to where you came from!” Three weeks after Avtar’s shooting, another friend, Inderjit Singh, is physically assaulted and threatened with death while working at a convenience store. These incidents receive little to no coverage in the U.S. media, and a national dialogue concerning post-9/11 hate crimes and ethnic profiling is sorely missing.
Wanting justice for his brothers’ murders, Rana is motivated towards social action. He demands that America live up to its ideals of equality. A DREAM IN DOUBT explores the complexities of race, religion, immigration, and the American Dream. In the end, the film demonstrates that hope and courage have the power to overcome hate.
A Dream in Doubt is a co-production of TRY Productions and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).