Q: You decided not to film a scene of the young Obama praying toward Mecca. Why did you make that choice?
A: It’s in the book. They were trying to use it as a political weapon against the president. It’s not that the president needs to be defended, but they were taking this scene out of context. In the book, while at Assisi, he was always trying to blend in. He went to the priest and tried to grab the bread for Catholic mass. He asks for the bread but he’s not eligible. And in Menteng Shool, when he saw his friends praying in a small mosque inside the school, he borrowed a sarong from his friends. He was trying to imitate his friends, but his sarong kept falling down. His friends couldn’t pray at the time because they were laughing. Every time he stood up his sarong fell off. He was not used to it, not used to the praying. He was just a kid who wanted to blend in.