Highlights from the 2018 Cinema Eye Honors

Among the Believers

Directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi Produced by Jonathan Goodman Levitt and Hemal Trivedi

In Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, the charismatic Islamist Abdul Aziz Ghazi sits on the floor in the largest of the Koranic schools of which he is the spiritual leader. He takes a big sack into his arms, turns it upside down and out flows loads of money. ‘Politicians left a vacuum in this country’ he says with a wry smile, and continues: ‘Someone has to fill it.’ While IS is massacring people in Syria and the Taliban is gaining ground in Afghanistan, ‘Among The Believers’ gives us a striking and hitherto unprecedented access to the violent world of radical Islamism. The film follows Ghazi’s Islamic sect, the Red Mosque, and the children who attend his school. Wherever the movement takes hold, the Islamists close the regular schools and instead offer their own, free Koranic schools, which slowly radicalise the children and youth. But it is far from all Pakistanis who agree with Ghazi, and when thousands of demonstrators and the army clash with the Islamists, things quickly become violent. A shocking insider report from a society at odds with itself, and an important film in a time when the media coverage is overflowing with atrocities, but rarely shows where radicalisation comes from. And that there are many ordinary people fighting against it. (CPH:DOX)