Hard-hitting video lashes out at Parliament’s ‘Danishness’ declaration

Christian Wenande
March 1st, 2017

This article is more than 6 years old.

Danish children with immigrant backgrounds confused and crestfallen when told they aren’t Danish

The impact of Parliament’s poorly-chosen words in denying the ‘Danishness’ of some immigrants has really hit home with a new hard-hitting video.

The video, produced by Gorilla Media, shows several Danish children with immigrant backgrounds being asked where they are from.

After answering that they are Danish (in perfect Danish accents by the way), they are told they are in fact not Danish (according to Parliament’s recent statement).

See the video below (click on the settings button to choose English subtitles)

The children’s reactions, ranging from confusion to tears, hits home hard as the video fades to black with the words “Dear politicians, please remember who you’re talking about.”

The filmmaker behind the contentious video, Iranian-born Alex Sabour, grew up in California, while his daughter was born and raised in Denmark. When he saw Parliament’s resolution, he was spurred into action.

“I started asking kids around her age the question: ‘Where are you from?’ The replies I got fell into two categories, and both were fascinating to me as a filmmaker,” Sabour told CPH POST.

“One group said we’re Danish, the other said the country that their parents came from. Both provided an uneasy look into the reality of what we as a society are teaching our kids.”

READ MORE: Poor wording in resolution denies ‘Danishness’ of some immigrants

Kids know what’s up
Sabour’s video has not been well received by some, with detractors contending that the use of children should be off limits when making a political message.

But that’s the whole point, argued Sabour. Children certainly weren’t off limits when the government made its sweeping statement two weeks ago.

“Kids aren’t blind, deaf, dumb – they are aware of their surroundings. They hear the talk radio in the morning when you drop them off at school, they listen to the debates on TV, and the debates that happen at home often come back to the schoolyard,” said Sabour.

“I chose to ask kids, because it’s their struggle. I understand people are upset/sad/angry, and for most people it’s going to be forgotten tomorrow when another interesting video hits their newsfeed, but not for us, and families like us.”

Poorly-worded, not thought through
In early February, the government landed itself in hot water in its response to the revelations that the proportion of immigrants and descendants from non-Western countries is over 50 percent in two neighbourhoods in Denmark.

It read: “Parliament believes that Danes should not be in the minority in neighbourhoods in Denmark. Today there are areas in Denmark where the proportion of immigrants and descendants from non-Western countries is over 50 percent.”

The statement indicates that descendants of immigrants were not considered Danish – despite many holding Danish passports.

Another group to criticise the politicians’ statement was adopted people in Denmark, who contend that the move appears to also question their Danishness.

See the video below (click on the settings button to choose English subtitles)


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