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That Paradise Will Be Mine

 
That Paradise Will Be Mine

(Dat het paradijs voor mij zal zijn) Director: Merel Beernink, NIZ, 2005, original version / English subtitles, 54 min

Astrid, Inge and Rabia are three ordinary young Dutch women who have taken an extraordinary decision – they have converted to Islam. Astrid, the youngest of the three, is living with her parents again after a brief but unhappy arranged marriage. She was not ready for the treatment her husband gave her. "I'm an Islamic Dutchwoman, I was raised differently," she says. Inge has an Egyptian fiancé with whom she decides to move to Cairo, where she eventually marries him in a traditional ceremony. Rabia is already married and has three children, who are being brought up in the best Islamic tradition. She has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but this has only strengthened her belief in Allah. Taking her religion very seriously, she decides to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca. After returning, she demonstrates her ever–deepening conviction by choosing to wear a veil at all times. Rather than trying to press the women to give their reasons for making such a radical choice, director Merel Beernink takes a close look at their day–to–day lives and lets them speak about how they feel in their new cultural and religious context. Their voices are complemented by revealing, and often very touching, interviews with their parents. Beernink's documentary is a heartfelt, honest and at times humorous examination of the possibilities offered by a multi–cultural society.


 

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