The district of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean in Brussels has become world-famous as a center of jihadism, but for six-year-old Aatos and his friend Amine, it is a familiar home. Here, they listen ...
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The district of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean in Brussels has become world-famous as a center of jihadism, but for six-year-old Aatos and his friend Amine, it is a familiar home. Here, they listen to spiders, discover black holes, and fight about what is going to steer a flying carpet. Together they search for the answers to life's big questions. But the brutality of the adult world makes itself known when terrorists detonate a bomb in the neighborhood. Aaatos envies Amine's Muslim faith and looks for his own gods, although his classmate Flo questions him; she is strongly convinced that anyone who believes in God is completely nuts. Gods of Molenbeek is a wonderful portrayal of childhood friendship, inquiry and the creation of meaning in a chaotic time.
This beautiful documentary about two small boys of different backgrounds working through the contentious politics which surround them, and religious differences which divide them, is by far the best film I have seen this year. A beautiful, sensitive, miraculous film, which moved me so deeply during its screening that I felt an overwhelming sense of wonder at its existence. The love which the two boys feel for each other is palpable, and the way in which they honestly grapple with the religious and cultural differences which complicate that love, and the delicate way in which the filmmaker has captured it, is profound. I'm not a person who easily engages in superlatives, but this is as good as nonfiction cinema gets.
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