A few days ago, we posted a trailer for a documentary made by a woman sick to death of constant sexual harassment, primarily, if not exclusively, from Muslim immigrants from the Maghreb. A few people are working very hard now to bring you the whole video with English titles. But the broadcast of it a couple of days ago has already produced fallout in Belgium and elsewhere.
Thank you Bear for finding and translating this article for us.
Brussels – Sofie Peeters wishes above all that her doccumentary “Femme de la Rue”, that denounces the verbal sexism in certain neighborhoods of brussels, allows the woman who are the victims to feel less lonely.
She also attract attention to the fact that if these macho behaviors are done by immigrants in 90% of the cases, they are not representative of the Magreb community in its whole. Which she confided to l’émission Terzake de la VRT.
Sofie Peeters: this documentary, was it really what you were living on the streets?
It is sad to say, but exactly, yes. In fact this sequence, I shot in one single afternoon. In a well defined neighborhood.
This neighborhood which is it?
It is in fact a neighborhood of Anneessens and the surroundings. My apartment was situated at Anneessens and I also shot towards Lemonniers and Midi also. The documentary is not an example of all of brussels.
Where does this urge to film about this topic come from?
From an unease that I felt while leaving Louvain for brussels. At the beginning I thought the insults were linked to my behavior, the way I dressed. When I was asked “how much is your price”. I noticed it wasn’t only happening to me. I asked myself why men were continuing to address women in that manner.
How did you film?
For certain images, someone follows me. For otters, it’s a special camera hidden that I wear against my clothing. So a hidden camera with the microphone in my bag. In a few cases people knew they were being filmed.
Most of the men filmed are immigrants…
Yes, it was one of my greates fears: How to treat this theme without turning it into a racist film. Because it is a reality: when we walk in Brussels 9 times out of 10 these insults comes from immigrants.
But perhaps they are “black sheeps”
Exactly when you walk around the neighborhood, after two minutes, you have ran into twenty immigrants, One of them will have made a remark. It is of course one too many, but it is not representative of the whole community.
What do you hope to get out of this documentary?
Above all I would like that woman take note that if that is happening to them they are not alone. I also want to open up the debate on the topic because many are fearful to discuss it out of being called a racist.