Stranger at the Gate Academy Award-Nominated Film Premiere & Talkback

Thursday, Oct 12, 2023

Thursday, October 12
5:00 pm Cash Bar | 6:00 pm Program

In Person at The Weitzman (5th and Market)
Tickets: General Admission $20 | Member Ticket $15

Purchase Tickets

The Weitzman welcomes you to the Philadelphia premiere of the Academy Award-nominated documentary film Stranger at the Gate (USA, 2022, 29 min). Nominated for Best Documentary Short Film, it seamlessly weaves together the stories of Richard “Mac” McKinney, a U.S. Marine who returns home to Indiana from his tours in the Middle East with an overwhelming hatred of Muslims, and Bibi Bahrami, an Afghan refugee whose escape from war-torn Afghanistan shapes her understanding of racial discrimination. McKinney, angered by the growing Muslim population in his town, decides to construct a bomb intended for detonation at the local mosque and Islamic community center. It’s during his reconnaissance mission that he comes face to face with the diverse community he sought to harm – Afghan refugees like Bahrami, African American converts, and others. This unexpected encounter takes the narrative in a new direction, sparking a transformation in McKinney’s perspective and beliefs.

Following the screening, Marty Moss-Coane will moderate a thought-provoking panel discussion featuring Bibi Bahrami, Richard “Mac” McKinney, and Josh Seftel. The panelists will share their perspectives and experiences, offering valuable insights into the systemic issues of racism, xenophobia, and the power of kindness. This conversation offers an opportunity to explore the root causes of extremist ideologies, as seen in the rise of antisemitism today, and the importance of confronting one’s own biases.

Presented by the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in partnership with the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and Philadelphia Jewish Film and Media.

About the Director
Joshua Seftel is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker known for directing the Emmy-winning landmark series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the feature film War, Inc. starring John Cusack, Marisa Tomei and Ben Kingsley, and his regular appearances on CBS Sunday Morning where he interviews his 86-year-old mother. His most recent film, Stranger at the Gate, Executive Produced by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and nominated for a 2023 Academy Award®, is part of Seftel’s Emmy and Peabody-nominated Secret Life of Muslims project (SXSW), which combats Islamophobia with filmmaking. Seftel, who experienced antisemitism as a child, has been committed to working on this subject matter for the past seven years.  

Seftel received his first Emmy nomination at age 22 with his documentary Lost and Found about Romania’s orphaned children. The film led to the American adoption of thousands of Romanian orphans. Some of his other award-winning films include the political campaign documentary Taking on the Kennedys (POV), the underdog sports film The Home Team (SXSW), the behind-the-scenes film about Annie’s Broadway revival It’s the Hard Knock Life (PBS), and the artist portrait The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano (Tribeca Film Festival) which won the IDA Documentary Award and became the most viewed New York Times Op-Doc of the year. He is also a contributor to the Peabody Award-winning podcast This American Life and to The New York Times.

About The Moderator
Marty Moss-Coane is host and executive producer of The Connection, a new weekly show on WHYY-FM featuring wide-ranging conversations about what makes us human.

She has had a long career at WHYY as a host and producer. She co-created and produced Family Matters hosted by psychologist Dan Gottlieb, a long running and popular interview call-in program that dealt with a wide range of psychological issues. She was an associate producer for Fresh Air with Terry Gross when it was a local show in Philadelphia. She was a fill-in host when the program went national. For thirty five years, Marty was the host and executive producer of Radio Times, one of the most respected weekday interview programs on regional radio. She earned praise for her versatility and engaging conversations with guests and listeners alike during the live program, which covered social issues, public policy, books, films, and more.

Watch the Official Trailer Below: 

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Live at The Weitzman
101 South Independence Mall East (Corner of 5th & Market)
Philadelphia, PA 19106