There are around 1.8 billion Muslims on Earth. Demographic research is never an exact science, so depending on which research method is used, there is a range of between 45 and 50 countries with designated Muslim majority status. However, there are Muslim minorities in almost every country in the world and these five films and documentaries look at some of their stories.
Polish Muslims: An Unexpected Meeting
This is a remarkable and compelling documentary that takes you deep into the Muslim community of Poland. At less than 0.1%, the Muslim population is one of the smallest in the world but it contains an incredible diversity. The community represents 30 different countries, composed of immigrants, Poles embracing Islam, and Tatar families who have had a continuous presence in the country since the 14th century.
The thoughts and observations of historians, Muslim organisation leaders, non-Muslim Poles, scholars, and members of the community provide a detailed picture of both the past and present of this community and of Poland itself.
This film is a deeply personal account of three diverse people, who were looking for spiritual answers to vital questions and found them in Islam.
Through in-depth interviews they take us through their experiences and the process that led them to look for their own path and discovery of Islam. They share their personal doubts, their family and social struggles and their many reflections on the journey.
A First Farewell follows the stories of three Uyghur children living in rural Xinjiang, China. Isa, Kalbinur and her little brother Alinaz must face many trials and endure many sacrifices in their bid to survive in a world in which they are outliers geographically, culturally and linguistically.
The directorial debut of Lina Wang, A First Farewell is an impactful account of the lives of those living on the edge of a global superpower, cut off from many of the opportunities this should entail by their different culture and language. Our protagonists must learn how to navigate this world wherein poverty, family issues and difficulty assimilating in a country trying to bury their community’s existence will make demands of them beyond their years.
For a more in-depth review of this incredible film read A First Farewell: Life through the eyes of an Uyghur child
This film follows two Muslim students, Aziza and Zainab as they explore what it means to be a Muslim in Britain and how Muslims feel about living and practising their faith in the UK.
Visiting mosques, community centres, charities and schools, they learn about the history of the Muslim presence in the UK and the first mosques. They also find out about vibrant new fashion for Muslims and the growing confidence of their community in the UK.
Featuring interviews and commentary from eighteen different peopleDe Staat van der Nederlandse Moslim 2020 (The State of the Dutch Muslim 2020) is a poetically moving and deeply insightful film that examines what it means to be Dutch and Muslim at the present time.
Today Muslims constitute about 5% of the Dutch population and their multiple origins are encapsulated by the eighteen contributors to this film. The diversity of this community obviously accentuates their unity as Muslim but what this film most clearly demonstrates, and reinforces, is their shared identity as citizens of Holland.
For a comprehensive account of this film, including an interview with Director, Faisal Mirza please see: