First Look: BRITZ Tonight on BBC America

Britz - Riz Ahmed

BRITZ is a must-see BBC America two night event starting with Part One on Sunday, November 30th, at 8pm and Part Two on Monday, December 1st, at 8pm.

The first time I heard about Britz was when I received a copy to watch it. I decided not to read anything about what the story was and to just trust that if BBC America was airing it, there was a very good chance I was going to like it.

And I was right. From the very first frame, we are taken into a world we are rarely exposed to from this point of view. We meet Sohail, a young Muslim Brit, his sister, Nasima, a medical student, and their family. The first part of Britz will show us the story from Sohail’s point of view, and the second part will be from Sohail’s point of view.

Britz - Manjinder Virk

While I could go on and tell you more about the story, because I think experiencing Britz without knowing too much would be more enjoyable, I won’t. But for those who don’t want to take my word for it and want to know more about the story, I have included the synopsis for both parts at the bottom.

With that in mind, what I can say about Britz is that originally I thought it was a series, so when I popped in the DVD to watch it at midnight, I was only expecting it to last for no longer than an hour. An hour and fifty minutes later I was finishing part one and popped in DVD number two because I had to see what happened next. That’s right Part One ends on a pretty big cliffhanger, so get ready to be begging for more Britz on Sunday night when Part One ends. As for the conclusion, you will be thinking about it long after the end of the episode.

If reality shows are there to kill your brain cells, Britz is there to build them back up. It will challenge you to think outside of your comfort zone and see things through other people’s eyes.

Britz is brilliantly executed and the two main actors, Riz Ahmed and Manjinder Virk, are sensational. I was actually surprised I hadn’t seen them in anything before. I will now for sure keep an eye out for these two.

All of this to say tune in to BBC America tomorrow night, November 30, at 8pm and watch Part One of Britz and come back from more on December 1st.

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Cast: Riz Ahmed (Sohail), Manjinder Virk (Nasima), Mary Stockley (Tess), Chinna Wodu (Jude), Zahra Ahmadi (Sabia)

Writer and Director: Peter Kosminsky

Executive Producers: David Aukin, Hal Vogal

Producer: Steve Clark-Hall

Synopsis:

Part One – Part one follows the story of Sohail who’s a young Muslim Brit, ambitious and college educated. His desire to assimilate into every aspect of contemporary British culture sees him driven into the open arms of MI5 where his first assignment is to help track down a terrorist cell linked to the London Tube bombings of July 7. The enquiry leads him back to his own community in Bradford where no one, not even his closest friends, are above suspicion. Unsure if he is being used to entrap his own, Sohail is forced to question where his loyalties really lie – with his Pakistani Muslim community, or Britain, the country of his birth.

Part Two – Part two follows the story of Nasima, a medical student in Leeds, who unlike her brother, is deeply suspicious of the British establishment. She spends much of her time campaigning against repressive government policies and witnesses at first-hand the relentless targeting of her Muslim neighbors. The turning point is when her best friend kills herself, having being abused, while under arrest, for innocently falling foul of the new anti-terror laws. Nasima is not only forced to question her liberal views but left feeling so angry at, and estranged from, the country of her birth, that she embarks on an extraordinary journey that eventually takes her to a terrorist training camp in north-west Pakistan.