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Watch Cornered in Molenbeek

Mainstream media have described the Brussels district of Molenbeek as the "jihad capital of Europe," after several suspects in the terrorist attacks on France and Belgium were revealed to have been recruited from its large Muslim community. In the heart of this troubled neighbourhood, Coiffure Zaïdi, a barber shop sitting just opposite a mosque, serves as a meeting place for locals of all ages. This is where award-winning director Sahim Omar Kalifa installed his camera, capturing casual conversations between clients of North African origins. As shocked and dismayed by recent events as anyone else, they discuss unemployment and failed integration, immigration policies and government surveillance. With a fly-on-the-wall approach to these animated debates, and a keen, humanizing eye for the most significant details, Kalifa composes a charming and vivid tableau of a population continually stigmatized and circumscribed by media stereotypes.

Sahim Omar Kalifa

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