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Ghosts of Sugar Land is an award-winning short documentary film directed by Bassam Tariq (These Birds Walk) and produced by filmmaker Farihah Zaman (Remote Area Medical), which debuted globally on Netflix today.
It follows a group of young Muslim American men in Sugar Land, Texas, as they try to make sense of what happened to their friend - referred to only as 'Mark' - who is suspected of joining ISIS. The men all wear pop culture themed masks to remain anonymous.
Wearing masks, they're interviewed about how they remember their friend, and their accounts of what likely happened to him.
Despite having only just been added to Netflix, the doc has already garnered widespread acclaim after it scooped a prize at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was honoured with the Short Film Jury Award in the non-fiction category.
The synopsis offers: "Ghosts of Sugar Land follows a group of Muslim Americans in the suburbs of Houston, Texas as they trace the disappearance of 'Mark,' a friend who is suspected of joining ISIS.
"A social misfit throughout his teens, 'Mark' converted to Islam before entering college. But his beliefs took an increasingly worrisome turn when he began alienating his friends and leaving cryptic notes on social media before he disappeared altogether.
"Winner of the Short Film Jury Award for Non-Fiction at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Ghost of Sugar Land stirringly traces the guilt, fear and sadness of these men as they try to piece together what happened to their friend."
Another of Netflix's non-fiction offerings released recently is the second season of Rotten, a docu-series that 'travels deep into the heart of the food supply chain to reveal unsavory truths and expose hidden forces that shape what we eat'.
From chocolate and sugar to avocados and wine, the episodes serve up a sobering take on some of life's most widely consumed products and industries.
The final episode also explores the ever-expanding legal cannabis industry, focusing on the regulatory issues that are rampant within it, particularly regarding ingredients and labelling.
Another episode takes viewers on a behind-the-scenes look at the bottled water industry, and how it has 'driven corporations to dip into public water supplies,' leaving 'vulnerable citizens thirsty'.
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