Nenn’ mich einfach Axel | Kald mig bare Aksel | Wallah Be

Denmark 2002, Feature film, 85’ | Director Pia Bovin | Screenplay Bo Hr. Hansen | DoP Jakob Banke Olesen | Editor Molly Marlene Stensgaard | Sound Mick Raaschou | Music Poul Halberg | Cast Adam Gilbert Jespersen, Nour El-Foul, Nadia Bøggild | Production Zentropa Productions ApS | Distribution Atlas Film

»My daughter was in the same class as a boy who converted to Islam when he was eleven years old. That was an impulse for my film, but it is not his story. I wanted to make a realistic film set in Denmark today showing how people live together.”«
Interview with Pia Bovin in: Kinder- und Jugendfilmkorrespondenz 95-3/2003

Axel had been looking forward to spending the summer holidays with his father, but he’s too drunk and so he’s obliged to stay at home with his mother and sister all summer long. One of the few attractions on offer is a singing competition at the local youth club. Axel is due to appear in the competition with Fatima and Annika – even though he’s not at all enthusiastic about the idea. Axel finds his Muslim neighbours’ sons and their fast cars far more appealing, but the young men just laugh at the little boy. And so, Axel decides to convert to Islam. Axel adjusts his life accordingly: he changes his clothes, drops pork from his diet and says regular prayers to Mecca. Ahmed is how he wishes to be known from now on, a name which neither his mother nor his sister are prepared to get used to. Fatima and Annika are not exactly bowled over by Axel’s alias Ahmed’s new-found religiosity either, because their brand new Muslim group member is finding it hard to rehearse in earnest for the competition. And when Fatima’s parents place her under house arrest, it looks as though their dreams of competing are well and truly dashed. Nevertheless, they continue to practise somehow, even under these difficult circumstances. However, their ability to compete on the day itself all rests on the success of a trick which, if it succeeds, will get Fatima out of the apartment and help Axel feel like a real Muslim – albeit for a short time.

Rated »highly recommended« by the German Films & Media Classification Board.

Biography
Born 1963, Pia Bovin studied for three years at art school from 1990 to 1995, subsequently attending Den Danske Filmskole and graduating in 1999. Since then she has worked as a director of television series. Kald mig bare Aksel (Wallah Be) marks her debut as film director.

Pia Bovin
Denmark
2002
Feature film
2014
School Film