In the context of the excitement and suspense, the film revolves around three friends (Omar al-Murr, Orabi and Rashid) who form a gang to rob the ships. They are charged with a dangerous ... See full summary »
Well, to be honest...I could think of at least 50 movies I liked better than this one, but somehow this movie really kept me thinking for hours after seeing it. I even had a discussion with my friends afterwards in a café about the issues in this movie, which for me is quite unique.
The whole movie takes place in Antwerp (Belgium). Antwerp is not only known for its port and diamonds but also for the large amount of people who have voted for the local right-wing extremist party "Vlaams Blok" (1 out of 3). This story takes place a couple of days before 'Zwarte Zondag' (Black Sunday), when the Vlaams Blok-party won a lot of votes...
The story itself is quite simple... a Belgian guy and a Moroccan girl fall in love. And because of their parents, friends and neighbours wouldn't understand (or approve of) their love they have to hide it. You could say it's a modern "Romeo & Julia", but in a racial context.
I thought the story had quite some flaws: somehow I got the impression the director wanted to tell too much, when he only had +/- 1h30 to tell it. e.g. the romance (the main 'issue' in the movie) seems almost a matter of secondary importance, because it takes maybe 5-10 minutes of the entire movie for the 2 main actors to meet, talk and fall in love. Besides, the acting certainly wasn't that great (everyone was quite mediocre even the 2 leading actors), but still believable.
Why then would I recommend you to see it?
Well, for one: when this movie came into our theatres, one of the (would-be) spokesmen of the muslim community (Dyab Abou Jahjah) forbid muslims to go see this movie, because it was supposedly disrespectful to Arabs, Arab culture and religion. I (and anyone else I know for that matter, including muslims) didn't see anything disrespectfull at all. On the contrary: both cultures (Belgian and Arab) where shown in a positive AND a negative way. Anyhow Abou Jahjah's censorship didn't work, because when I went to see it there were some Moroccan girls watching it too.
But most importantly: You should certainly watch this movie if you can, not because of its story or acting, but because it raises some important issues and more importantly it REALLY makes you think about racism... and maybe even get you in discussion with your friends ;-)
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