Moschee DE

Moschee DE

Documentary Film
61 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Michał Honnens, Robert Thalheim, Matthias Miegel
Mina Salehpour, Michał Honnens
Felix Kahlo
Jan Soldat
Robert Thalheim, Kolja Mensing
Dirk Austen, Hagen Wächter
Johanna Bantzer, Rainer Frank, Mathias Max Herrmann, Aljoscha Stadelmann, Sandro Tajouri
The opening of the first newly-built mosque in the new Federal Lands by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Berlin-Pankow had been preceded by protests, demonstrations and embittered disputes. Almost ten years later, after Isis terror, “refugee crisis”, Pegida and right-wing election triumphs, the clash of cultures seems to have reached its climax – and the community are planning new buildings in Leipzig and Erfurt, which calls forth the inevitable citizens’ groups …

Based on minutes of conversations that took place in 2006, already adapted by Kolja Mensing and Robert Thalheim for their eponymous play which premiered in 2010, Michał Honnens and Mina Salehpour condense the conflict through editing. The authors have created fictitious personae based on the original texts, their characteristics and presentation clearly exaggerated and distorted almost to caricatures. The characters: the Imam flown in from Pakistan, the politically super-correct new Berlin resident from the south of Germany, the former GDR citizen and president of the citizens’ group, the protest-savvy priest, and a German convert. The film creates what has long seemed impossible in reality: a dialogue, ranging from personal motives and backgrounds to the headscarf issue and other principles. Categories of “the good ones” and “the bad ones” gradually dissolve in this construction and give way to a complexity we will have to bear.

Grit Lemke

Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Goethe-Institute Documentary Film Prize