Dutch producer/director Albert terHeerdt says he is 'seriously considering' postponing making the sequel to hishit multicultural comedy Shouf ShoufHabibi! following the murder of director Theo van Gogh earlier this month.
Shouf Shouf, about a Moroccan family who struggle to settle in theconcrete sprawl of urban Holland, wasselected for the Panorama section of this year's Berlin festival, attractedover 320,000 admissions in the Netherlands and was sold to over 40 territories.
Given the current tense situation inthe Netherlands after the killing of van Gogh, Ter Heert said 'it might beinterpreted the wrong way,' to make the sequel. He also said he feared thepotential consequences: 'I don't want a knife in my chest', he added.
TheEuros 1.6m sequel Shouf Shouf Barakka!,produced by Albert ter Heerdt, Jos van der Linden and San Fu Maltha, was tostart shooting in spring 2005. In addition, a three-part television series wasin the making.
TerHeerdt says he is considering postponement the film after warnings from hisfriends in the Muslim community with whom he made his first feature film.'Don't do it, its very dangerous,' they told him. 'I'm violently confused', terHeerdt said. Ter Heert was speaking during a debate on self-censorship inAmsterdam organised by film magazine De Filmkrant and film theatre HetKetelhuis in Amsterdam.
Accordingto Ter Heerdt, 'self-censorship already existed before the killing of van Gogh.In Shouf Shouf Habibi!, the word'Islam' was never mentioned. And I left out jokes about Islam after consultingMimoun Oaïssa' - his leading actor who suggested the story line. "In
Meanwhile, Submission Part I, the short film that played a role in the killingof Van Gogh, has not been shown since his murder - either on television or incinemas.
Except for producer Gijs van deWestelaken, who said it would be improper to show the film on the day of VanGogh's burial on November 9, others have suggested that too much attentionwould be focused on the film.