Afghanistan-born director Burhan Qurbani makes a bold feature debut with "Shahada," a film following the lives of three young German-born Muslims living in today's Berlin. "Shahada" powerfully shows people at crossroads in their lives and faiths. Ishmail, a married police officer of Turkish descent, cracks down on foreign workers but grapples with a strong attraction to an illegal immigrant named Leyla. Another difficult romance involves Sammi, who is violently conflicted between his faith's teachings about homosexuality and his true feelings for a male co-worker. Then there is Maryam, the woman who has a story unlike the others, but with just as many secrets and mysteries. Qurbani effortlessly maneuvers between the three storylines, digging deeper into each character as the stories unfold and carefully intersecting the characters' paths into a cohesive network. His promising debut covers controversial issues without much judgment, allowing the audience to question far deeper than by offering easy answers or tidy resolutions.
About the Directors
Qurbani's parents fled their Afghanistan home in 1969 and obtained political asylum in Germany. In 2002, he enrolled at the Filmakademie Baden - Württemberg, and his short film "Illusion" won the 2008 German Camera Award and the German Film Critic's Award. "Shahada," his graduation project, is his first feature.
- Burhan Qurbani
- Burhan Qurbani, Ole Giec
- Robert Gold, Susa Kusche
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