On a windy Wednesday afternoon, residents shuffled past guards and staff to get to their seats. The Minneapolis Highrise Representative Council (MHRC) held a hearing for residents to vote on allowing HBO to film its upcoming “Mogadishu, Minnesota” TV series on their premises. That day, Oct. 5, residents voted 51-0 and denied HBO access to filming in Cedar-Riverside Plaza.
“The intergenerational solidarity I witnessed was something I had never seen before,” says Saida Mahamud. Residents cheered when the verdict was delivered and invited media and guests in for tea and biscuits.
Residents of Cedar-Riverside Plaza, the city’s Somali community and other allies are vocally opposed to “Mogadishu, Minnesota,” formally titled “The Recruiters,” directed by Somali pop artist K’Naan and executive produced by Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow, known for directing war films like “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Like Bigelow’s other projects, “Mogadishu, Minnesota” worries many in the local Somali community due to themes that might spread Islamophobia.
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