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Mijke de Jong

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Mijke about LAYLA M. and the Oscars

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Oscars: A Female Muslim Teen Becomes Radicalized in the Netherlands' 'Layla M.'

"...Even if you don’t agree with her, you always have to love her at the end, so that was the reason I chose Nora for this role,” de Jong says. “I think I saw every Moroccan [actress] in Holland and Belgium, and the first time I met Nora, she had such charisma. It was important because we really wanted to show the human — in everyone there’s a human, and she is just a girl like I was at that age, with anger and love....read the full interview...

 
THE HUFFINGTON POST
“Never judge a book by its cover, even if the cover is a niqab”: Mijke de Jong Talks About ‘Layla M.’

"...Mijke de Jong: It was the moment that I met a girl who was similar to Layla. She told me her life story and that was the beginning of ‘Layla M.’. Religion and radicalization are subjects that fascinate me. Many of my films revolve around these subjects and that also has to do with my own life. I had a religious upbringing, I was a rebellious teenager and a radical activist in the squatting and peace movement....read the full interview...

 
VARIETY

Women Directors From Europe on Their Foreign-Language Films
 
“...When making a film I am rendered completely obsessed for an indefinite period of time. Thinking in terms of obstacles would mark the end of my sanity. I prefer to think in terms of challenges. In the case of ‘Layla M.,’ there were ample. A large part of the film was shot in the Middle East, [and] it was a co-production with a larger than typical budget as far as I’m concerned. The crew was diverse and international. All kinds of ‘obstacles,’ which ended up broadening my horizon. My dream was to reach as many people as possible. Not just festival and arthouse audiences, but also young girls like Layla, who are angry and no longer feel at home in a city like Amsterdam where they were born and raised...read the full article...

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