Production and distribution (2)
Young Algerian journalist Nedjma is investigating Islamic accounts of paradise. She is particularly interested in the descriptions used by Salafi preachers to recruit young Algerian men as jihadists. She and her colleague Mustapha find a number of disturbing, richly embellished video sermons and decide to explore the phenomenon in more detail. Travelling through the country, she has conversations with numerous people including astute intellectuals, naïve young men, enlightened religious scholars and political activists. It becomes clear that globalisation has contributed to what has now become an unbridled market for religion. Paradise has become a desirable commodity, expensively promoted by Wahhabis who are engaged in a struggle to impose theirs as the correct reading of the Koran, namely: sex and drugs are forbidden on earth but in heaven there are women and there is wine. Interweaving dramatised black-and-white scenes with documentary interviews, Merzak Allouache, a French director with an Algerian background, creates a multi-layered analysis of the dangers that emanate from Salafism and Salafi interpretations of the Koran.