In the film Traitor, the main character’s faith is tested in a web of violence and misplaced loyalties, forcing him deeper into the fray of an international conspiracy. Throughout the film, Samir sources strength and tolerates persecution through Islamic prayer, while the organizations of people working around him are in a constant of flux. For Samir’s character, being Muslim is one of the few unbroken pieces of his identity from the moment his Father is killed by a car bomb to the climactic deaths of his ‘allied’ Muslim brothers. Thus, I found the shifting character developments affirm the notion that “an opinion can be argued with”, while the inspiring endurance of his religion affirms “a conviction is best shot.”
During Samir’s first encounter with Yemeni forces and FBI agents, the use of guns and force against his group modeled the attitude that their actions posed an imminent threat and needed to be neutralized. In addition, the use of suicide bombings by other characters is symbolic of fatalistic devotion to Islamic beliefs, which forces Samir to create more destruction in his role as the bomb maker. When he escaped prison with the others, his role as an explosives broker is elevated to becoming an agent for the group. In the process, the audience sees Samir is at peace using military experience to lend the group his skills to kill, while the faith of other agents in the network supplements his lack of will to kill. Furthermore, The testimonies of Samir’s mother, former girlfriend, and US informant validate his reservations against taking life and expose a deeper internal conflict. Before and after Samir detonates explosives at the US Embassy, his interactions with Farrid show disdain for a new variation of practices that seem focused on harming others instead of religious integrity. This plot shift complicates his actions even further when he is pressured to distribute bombs across the network, while being pursued by the Federal agents. In the scene...
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