Omar El-Hussein, who killed two men and injured six police officers before being gunned down in the early morning hours of February 15, will be the inspiration for a new film from Zentropa, the Danish film company said on Friday.
Producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen and director Manyar Parwani are making a film based on the events that surrounded El-Hussein’s actions on February 14-15, when he opened fire on a cafe hosting a free speech debate and later killed a volunteer security guard at Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue.
The film, entitled ‘Lukkede øjne’ (Closed Eyes), will “tell the story of Omar El-Hussein and what happened with him before, during and after his actions” according to a press release from the company.
Zentropa said that the film will be fiction rather than a documentary on El-Hussein, but will use his life to describe how a young man born and raised in Denmark could become radicalized.
In the aftermath of the February twin shootings, Danes struggled to comprehend how a young man born in their midst could turn into a cold-blooded killer. El-Hussein is thought to have gone down the path from petty criminal to radical extremist during his time in prison on a stabbing charge. Those who knew him earlier in life described him as a smart and helpful kid who also had a darker side.
Aalbæk Jensen said that Parwani, who was born in Afghanistan, is the perfect man to helm the film. Jensen said he never would have greenlighted a film on El-Hussein made by “pig-coloured Danes”.
“I think it could be interesting to see a film from someone who has access to the environments that Omar was a part of. I expect that Manyar Parwani has that,” he told broadcaster DR.
Parwani’s last film, 2009’s ‘Himlen falder’ (The sky is falling), was about the infamous real-life 'Tønder case', in which a Danish man allowed a long line of men to sexually assault his two daughters over a period of several years.