STRANGER AT THE GATE — One of the Best If Not the Best of the Best Anti-Islamophobia Films of the Year

Greggory W. Morris
7 min readSep 10, 2022

Tribeca Film Festival 2022 Best Documentary Short, Special Jury Mention & Grand Prize Winner, Documentary, 2022 Indy Shorts International Film Festival. More Awards in the Works

The Bomb Never Went Off

Film Review by Gregg W. Morris

Film Short, United States, 29 Minutes, English, English subtitles
Director: Joshua Seftel

All pictures in this article courtesy Press&Publicity, Adam Segal

In this spellbinder by award-winning Director Joshua Seftel, Richard Mac McKinney, an ex-Marine whose military training and Afghanistan war experiences honed him into a lean, mean, killing machine, can’t shake free of the demons of PTSD and a searing hatred of Muslims after he returns home.

Richard Mac McKinney

Driven inexorably, McKinney plans to blow up the Islamic Center of Muncie in Muncie, Indiana, hoping to slaughter as many Muslims as he can. The plan is tripped up by fates and circumstances changing the course of events described in this exceptionally made, spellbinding documentary that features elegantly but telling vignettes of one of the Center’s families as well as McKinney, his wife, their daughter and a few others.

One of the sublime features adding to this film’s beatific sheen are the interviewees whose vignettes about their lives, experiences as well as interactions with each other are fused into a sweeping cinematic tapestry exploring and revealing about what horrror could have but didn’t take place in Muncie as well as what’s taking place and what could be taking place in the United States … if only …

How many stars for this movie? Director Seftel’s STRANGER AT THE GATE has this reviewer imagining that it could make most…

Greggory W. Morris

Award Winning Assistant J-Professor, Hunter College/CUNY. Author, Writer. Blogs at Using to test-drive writing projects.