about the film
Following the assassination of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, Hearing the Other Side features inspiring conversations with diverse Muslim youth in the Netherlands. Showing what it means to be a faith community in an absolutely secular context, how the religious identities of young Muslims are under scrutiny, what it means to be a Muslim woman choosing to wear a headscarf in Europe, and, more than anything else, what is missing in the dialogue. Amidst media stereotyping and the subtle yet deep-reaching racist mindsets, Dutch Muslims share their perspectives with others, with the hope of being heard.
The documentary follows the journey of young Muslims of Moroccan and Turkish origin raising questions of identity, women’s concerns, and dialogue amidst the release of films like van Gogh’s Submission that led to heated debates on Islam in Europe. The honest opinions of the Dutch youth show complexity of the Muslim community in the Netherlands, which derive itself from religious Sufi and secular traditions. Influential thinkers such as Karen Armstrong, Anil Ramdas, Rene Danen and Lucien Van Liere also share their perspectives in the film.
Hearing the Other Side has been produced as part of the WCC – World Youth Programme initiative called “Building Bridges” developed in 2007, in collaboration with the Inter-Church Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO) Kerk in Actie. The documentary attempts to give voice to the concerns of young people and promote their positive role in dialogue and efforts for an integrated society.