Switchblade Sisters Episode 50: 'Black Swan' with 'Jinn' Director Nijla Mu'min

April Wolfe
Nijla Mu'min

Black Swan

This week we are very lucky to have award winning writer and director Nijla Mu'min on the program. In 2014, she was selected for the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive and her debut feature, Jinn, won the Special Jury Recognition Award for screenwriting at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. Jinn tells the story of a high school senior whose mother becomes taken by the beliefs and practices of Islam, which sets up a series of trials for the girl as she tries to navigate her own belief systems. The central character uses dance as a type of release. So it's fitting that the film Nijla has chosen to discuss is Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. April and she explore the different ways that Nijla's film and Aronofsky's film use dance as a form of expression for the protagonists. Nijla also describes how she relates to Natalie Portman's character Nina Sayers in her pursuit of perfection. Plus, Nijla elaborates on her desire to honor her community in the representation of Islam in her film Jinn.

Check out the trailer for Jinn. The film will be in select theaters on November 15th and streaming on November 16th.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch Black Swan.

With April Wolfe with Nijla Mu'min.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for

Getting Curious: What's the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims & why don't they love each other?

Jonathan and Jim Gelvin
Getting Curious
Jonathan Van Ness
Dr James Gelvin

Jonathan is joined by Dr James Gelvin (professor of Islamic Studies at UCLA) to ask, "What's the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims & why don't they love each other?"

You can find Dr Gelvin's books on Amazon.

Judge John Hodgman Episode 120: Halal In The Family

Brother Ali

Stephanie brings the case against her boyfriend, Dan. Her religious beliefs bar her from eating pork or keeping it in their shared home; she'd like Dan to follow the same restriction. He says that when he's away from the home, he'd like to be able to eat what he wants. Who is right?

We are joined this week by expert witness Brother Ali. Judge Jesse Thorn fills in for Judge John Hodgman, and Jordan Morris steps up as guest bailiff.

Thank you to listener Kevin Brown for suggesting this week's episode name!

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