Opinion split on Copenhagen terror film: Still too soon?

Politicians debate whether the production is in the public interest

Police are still guarding the synagogue on Krystalgade following the attacks (photo: iStock) Police are still guarding the synagogue on Krystalgade following the attacks (photo: iStock)
August 25th, 2015 10:51 am| by Philip Tees

It’s not uncommon for films to split audiences, but ‘Lukkede Øjne’ (closed eyes) is dividing opinion and filming hasn’t even started yet.

The Danish film company Zentropa’s announcement on Friday that Manyar I Parwani is directing a film about the Copenhagen terror attacks in February this year has raised questions about the appropriateness and timing of such a project.

Sensitive subject
Parwani himself was the first to admit the sensitivity of the subject matter of the production. He was quick to emphasise it is not an action film but an investigation into what drove Omar El-Hussein, and people like him, to perpetrate terrorist attacks.

“To embark on a film about what happened at Krudttønden and the synagogue requires careful thought,” he said.

“The events in Copenhagen affected me a lot and I therefore decided to investigate to what extent it is possible for me to get into Omar’s closed and dark world and thereby examine the phenomenon more generally.

Valuable undertaking
Mogens Jensen, Socialdemokraterne’s culture spokesman, told DR there is value in such an undertaking.

“Of course it’s in the public’s interest to tell the story of how people like that  become radicalised,” he said.

“It’s good to go behind the person and show what it was that made him commit this act. But I think we should show respect for the families of both victims. And also the family of Omar El-Hussein, for that matter.”

However, Jensen suggested it might be coming too soon. “With respect for the deceased and their families in mind, I think it’s very soon to be launching a project like this,” he said.

Excuse rhetoric
Alex Ahrendtsen, Dansk Folkeparti’s culture spokesman, is critical of the film’s stated aim.

“It’s just the usual left-wing excuse rhetoric that it’s the social conditions that creates these people,” he told DR.

“You can’t prevent this kind of thing. Islam is, after all, the source of inspiration for these people. And it’s regardless of where they come from: upper class, lower class, smart, not smart, university-educated or not university-educated. It’s Islam – that’s the source.”

Peter Christensen (on helicopter) welcoming Sweden's internal affairs minister, Anders Ygeman, before the Haga Meeting (photo: Anders Ygeman)
Nordic ministers to boost logistics of refugee situation
The defence minister, Peter Christensen, has revealed that the Nordic count...
Sweden established  temporary border controls earlier this month (photo: Matthew Ross)
Sweden stepping up border control
A tightening of asylum legislation in Sweden means that people travelling t...
Bohr, photographed in 1948 at Princeton University aged 63, saw out the latter years of his career in the US, promoting the peaceful application of atomic energy (photo: Princeton University/American Institute of Physics/Science Photo Library)
Atomic scientist’s quantum leap changed the world of physics forever
For such a tiny country, Denmark certainly punches above its weight, and th...
A tragedy in Copenhagen this afternoon (photo:PDP)
Mother of four stabbed to death in Copenhagen
A 51-year-old woman has been stabbed to death in an apartment in Nørrebro ...
German conductor Hartmut Haenchen warned against cuts from the Royal Orchestra (photo:  Riccardo Musacchio)
Musicians and maestros condemn cuts at the Royal Danish Theatre
The musicians at Det Kongelige Kapel, which is internationally known and ac...
Not rolling tomorrow (photo: Hochgeladen von Heb)
The postman may not ring at all in Copenhagen tomorrow
Some Copenhagen residents will see neither post nor packages tomorrow as ab...