Danish Zentropa producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen reported to the police for racism, when announcing Closed Eyes by Afghan-born director about the Copenhagen terror attack

Omar El Hussein

Danish producer and head of Zentropa Entertainments, Peter Aalbæk Jensen, has announced Closed Eyes (Lukkede øjne), a feature film about the Copenhagen terror attack in Feb 2014, when three people were killed and five policemen wounded.

In an interview Aalbæk Jensen said that “if the project had been proposed by a group of pig-coloured Danes, he would have refused it,” which made the nationalist Danes’ Party report him to the police for violating the legalisation against racism. “If he is not convicted, it is legal hypocrasy of the worst kind,” declared party leader Daniel Carlsen.

The Copenhagen shootings were carried out by Danish Jihadist Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussain, who swore allegiance to Islamic State before he attacked a debate on Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Speech at Copenhagen’s Krudttønden culture centre.There he killed Danish director-producer Finn Nørgaard and wounded three police officers.

He then tried to enter the Jewish synagogue in Krystalgade, where 80 Jews attended a young girl’s bat mitzvah - El-Hussain shot dead Jewish security guard Dan Uzan and injured another two policemen. Security forces traced him to Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district and involved him in a final shoot-out, where he was brought down by 38 bullets.

“The events in Copenhagen influenced me a lot, so I decided to find out whether it would be possible for me to enter Omar’s closed and dark world to investigate the phenomenon in more general terms,” said Danish Afghan-born director Manyar Parwani, whose latest feature was When Heaven Falls (Himlen falder, 2009).

Parwani has been in contact with local experts and has also approached El-Hussain’s own network in his efforts to understand “what was going on in this young man’s head, which social conditions contributed to his radicalisation, so he would see this horrible deed as an act of heroism.” The project has been supported by the Danish Film Institute.

Aalbæk Jensen has known and worked with the director for several years – “and I thought it would be interesting to see a film about the attack from a man. who has access to the same environment as El-Hussain”.

“One of the victims was my former trainee (Nørgaard), he was a curious man, so I am sure he would approve this film. I have no idea which direction it will take – I will leave that with the artists,” Aalbæk Jensen concluded to Denmark’s DR.