"Shahada" is a full feature film by writer and director Burhan Qurbani and now probably his second most known work. With his own background, it fits well that he is telling a story of foreigners (muslims) living and struggling in Germany, namely in Berlin. It is about a clash between culture/religion and modern contemporary life here in Germany. Some are closer to their origins, others the exact opposite. It is basically three films in one as the focus is on three characters and the solution at the end did not really convince me to see it as one movie. Anyway, you probably won't find too many known names in the cast list. German film buffs could recognize Moya. But despite the German film Wward nomination, it is not an actors' film at all, it is much more about the story and maybe also about the ensemble. But I personally struggled to make a connection here, perhaps because Qurbani was just trying to include too much here: homosexuality, betrayal, pregnancy, abortion, religion, family life, father-daughter relationships, job struggles etc. The consequence is that several of these areas felt executed underwhelmingly overall and that the film lacks focus on a few occasions. Maybe sticking with two (or even one)characters and having them linked closer would have been the better choice here. It all got a bit messy, but even if the film has no area where it truly sucks or disappoints, I cannot recommend seeing it. For it also doesn't have any area where it truly shines or delivers. A piece of genuine mediocrity. Watch Qurbani's more known, more superior and more recent "We Are Young. We Are Strong." instead. Shahada gets a thumbs-down from me. Not recommended.
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