A new film in France spurs conversations and hopes of preventing future attacks

Nadia Remadna works to prevent radicalization in Sevran outside Paris where she’s seen many youth leave for Syria. “I thought this was a strong and remarkable film,” she said, “and I’d even suggest it’s beneficial to the public at large because the characters give clues to understanding certain weaknesses that could allow radicalization to take over, even in unsuspecting lives.”
But some critics think the film’s emphasis is misplaced.  
So, Mention-Schaar   set out to make a film about the phenomenon, enlisting the help of a big star, Sandrine Bonnaire, who plays the mother of a teenage girl. Journalist Alexandre Devecchio of Le Figaro, says the film, by focusing on non-Muslim girls who convert to Islam, ignores the reality of radicalization in France. Melanie begins to latch on to conspiracy theories. “I found many answers. They deserved it, right?”
At the screening, Mention-Schaar told the audience she meant for her film to be used as prevention. Credit:

Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

The director’s fictional protagonists break gender and background stereotypes. 16 last year, three days after the Paris attacks, which gave the film a renewed sense of urgency. Her “prince,” as she calls him, sends her links to violent YouTube videos that support his thesis. Actor and director Sandrine Bonnaire delivers a speech to support Martine Aubry (not pictured), one of the two Socialist Party presidential primary election candidates in France, at a political rally in Lille, northern France, on Oct. In fact, she has been pushing for the film to be shown in high schools across the country. That included a heart-wrenching scene in which devastated parents confront authorities to ask them what they’ve done to find their daughter in Syria. Melanie is a good student, plays the cello and has down-to-earth friends. 13, 2011. The director could not understand what would motivate a teenage girl to do such a thing.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadListen to the Story. He wrote that the filmmaker embraced a “Care Bears vision of Islam.”
At a recent screening in central Paris, however, the audience was impressed. They’re nonobservant Christians. In a scene set at a fast food restaurant, Melanie tries to convince her schoolmates that the Sept. The other protagonist, 17-year-old Sonia, played by Noémie Merlant, is also a teenager from a nonreligious family. Students from local high schools, including senior Clara Jestin,   said they loved the film. She says the film carries an important message. “Are we all waiting for them to croak? After her failed attempts to leave for Syria and help prepare an attack on French soil, she is placed under house arrest. Filming began on Nov. “What’s [going on] today with youth who are loved, have a comfortable life, friends and an education? What have we missed, what can we do better to prevent this or other deadly phenomena to take root into youth? PRI.org

“With boys we can refer to conventional images of war and weapons to explain it,” she said, “you can see how this could be the attraction. it concerns everybody.”
France’s minister of education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, agrees. “I was really moved,” Jestin said. “I thought that this film was interesting because it says that radicalization is not exclusively an issue for young Muslims in underprivileged neighborhoods,” she said, “and that, unfortunately, it’s everyone’s problem, Catholic families, atheist families … I don’t know anyone who became radicalized, but you hear so much about it with the terrorist attacks, it was good to learn something.”
A mother in the audience said she thought the helplessness and despair of the parents in the film felt authentic. But for girls, what could possibly tempt them?”
Something is tempting them. Melanie plunges deeper into fanaticism. Melanie, 16, and played by Naomi Amarger,   lives alone with her divorced mother. All these questions are very important for me in the film.”
The film’s end credits display a   French government   toll-free number and web address. She secretly converts to Islam, stops playing the cello   and refuses to eat her mother’s cooking. She demonstrates that some dollar bills, when folded a specific way, reveal hidden messages about the twin towers, proving, in her mind, that the attack was planned ages ago. 11   attacks were staged by mysterious entities in order to manipulate public opinion about Muslims. And her rehabilitation struggle takes a huge toll on the family. But shortly after her grandmother’s death, she connects online with a stranger who speaks of the alleged oppression of Muslims worldwide. According to the French Ministry of the Interior, 700 French citizens, including 280 women   (half of whom are converts to Islam), are currently active with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. It’s a helpline and link to a new interactive campaign against radicalization — a stark reminder that fiction can only go so far in addressing the magnitude of France’s problems with terror and extremism. Early last year, filmmaker Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar read a news story about a young French man desperately looking for his sister who had left home to join ISIS in Syria. But her friends make fun of her, saying she is paranoid. “What’s my country doing for my daughter, and for all the kids who are about to turn, or to leave?” this mother asks. Another thousand people in France are said to be willing to join ISIS. “The film also takes stock of what’s happening in our society,” she says. “Le Ciel Attendra” was released in October and has been touted as a beneficial tool for raising awareness.