Berlin Film Follows Muslims Struggling With Crises

February 17, 2010

Author: Geir Moulson

Source: The Washington Post

Wire Service: AP

A first-time German director's film about Muslims struggling to come to terms with unwanted pregnancy, homosexuality and other challenges to their beliefs debuted Wednesday at the Berlin film festival.

"Shahada," or "Faith," is one of 20 movies in the festival's main competition. The first feature film from Burhan Qurbani, a 29-year-old German Muslim, it is competing alongside offerings from more established figures including Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer."

Qurbani said the movie is meant as "a call to dialogue."

Set in Berlin, it has three interlinked episodes - following the daughter of an imam who turns radical following an illegal abortion; a young Nigerian who struggles, in the end successfully, to reconcile his faith with feelings for another man; and a policeman racked by guilt over an accident in which he shot a woman.

"I wanted to show in my film that Muslims and Islam are not only one face, Arabic, (with a) beard, but it's really colorful," the director said of the variety of characters in his film.