What: “On a Wing and a Prayer: An American Muslim Learns to Fly,” a documentary about Monem and Iman Salam, a Bellingham couple.

Theater: Opens May 30 at Pickford Cinema, 1416 Cornwall Ave.

TV: 10 p.m. May 20 and 3 a.m. May 24 on KCTS-TV (Channel 9).

The movie will be shown on KCTS in HD at 5 p.m. May 30 and 4 p.m. May 31 (Comcast 82.5 and 108).

Movie details: www.onawingandaprayer.tv

The grown son of a commercial airline pilot yearns to fly, too, but when he decides to try for a private pilot’s license, friends wonder if he’ll land on the government’s “no-fly” list.

That’s because Monem Salam, a financial manager in Bellingham and a solid family man, is the son of Pakistani parents and a devout Muslim.

In the post-9/11 world, the words “Muslim” and “airplane” remain, for many people, a scary combination.

Even Max Kaiser, a friend and co-worker of Salam’s who was starting a film production company, admitted to a small case of the heebie-jeebies when he heard about Salam’s idea, but knew his fears were groundless. That made Kaiser even more determined to document Salam’s dream.

The result is “On a Wing and a Prayer: An American Muslim Learns to Fly,” a 60-minute documentary that has won several awards and is scheduled to appear soon on numerous PBS stations across the country, as well as at Pickford Cinema later this month.

The film is more than a mere account of Salam’s effort to obtain his license. Full of quiet dignity and a surprising dose of humor, it memorably peers into the life of a modern Muslim family in small-town America. (MORE)


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