Gods of Molenbeek

Opening Film

6-year-old Aatos is keeping guard on his home block in Molenbeek, Brussels, through a periscope. The view is familiar and safe. There is the home yard where he plays ball with his best friend, Amine from next door. There are the woods where they like to look for frogs. There are the prayers at Amine’s mosque and the flying carpet with which the friends can travel to Finland or Morocco. There are the streets, the markets and the old neighbourhood ladies who scold the kids for climbing in the trees. But for the rest of the world, Molenbeek is a nest of Islamist terrorism.

The strikes in Paris and Brussels disturb the peace in Aatos’ home block. Through his periscope, he sees heavily armed soldiers. He cannot help but think about bombs, exploding airplanes and dead people. People on the streets are protesting against discrimination and terror: they do not want religion to divide Molenbeek in two.

Directed by Reetta Huhtanen, Gods of Molenbeek manages to capture the magical world of a child in a wonderful manner. The camera stays at a child’s eye level.

Aatos and Amine come from different cultures, but together they tackle big questions: Is there a god? Which god is the best one? What happens after death? Aatos would like to have a god of his own because Amine has one, too. In a little boy’s world, gods are fairytale characters; sources of endless joy.

Kati Juurus
The writer is a documentary filmmaker and the Artistic Director of DocPoint starting April 2019.

Language: Arabic, Finnish, French
Subtitles: English

Q&A with Reetta Huhtanen (director) on Wednesday 30.01. at 20:30 at Kinopalatsi 7 (in Finnish)

  • Director: Reetta Huhtanen
  • Country: Finland
  • Year: 2018
  • Length: 73 min
  • Age limit: K12
  • Format: DCP
  • Cinematography: Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen
  • Editing: Jamin Benazzouz
  • Music: Tuomas Nikkinen, Cassis B. Staudt
  • Production: Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen / Zone2 Pictures // Co-producers: Hanne Phlypo / Clin d'oeil Films, Alex Tondowski / Tondowski Films


  • Bio Rex: Mon 28.1. at 19.00
  • Kinopalatsi 7: Wed 30.1. at 20.30
  • Finnkino Itis 5: Sat 2.2. at 14.30
  • Maxim 1: Sun 3.2. at 14.45