That Paradise Will Be Mine

A film by Merel Beernink

The Netherlands | 2005 | 54 minutes | Color | DVD | Dutch | Subtitled | Order No. 06903


Why would a woman in one of the most liberal Western European countries choose to become a Muslim and faithfully follow the demands of her new conviction – including wearing the veil? This eye-opening film follows the lives of three women dealing with the consequences of their choice to convert to Islam. Rather than pressing the women for the reasons behind their choice, director Merel Beernink takes a close look at their day-to-day lives, letting them speak candidly about how they feel in their new cultural and religious context.

Issues of marriage and relationships loom large for all three women. Astrid, who had a brief but unhappy arranged marriage, is now living with her parents and looking for a husband. Inge is considering a move to Cairo to marry her Egyptian fiancé. Rabia is married to a Muslim man and struggling with matters such as polygamy and homosexuality. Their perspectives are complemented by revealing and often touching interviews with their parents.

Capturing these women’s struggle to reconcile the expectations of their families and friends with the demands of their new conviction, Beernink’s intimate portraits offer fascinating insight into the choices made by these women to lead a different kind of life.


“Filmmaker Merel Beernink delves deep into the personal lives of these women to show us the consequences of their choices."

IDFA, International Documentary FilmFestival Amsterdam

“A heartfelt, honest and at times humorous examination of the possibilities offered by a multi-cultural society.”

One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

"Excellent...explores a topic that has to this point received little attention...allows for a better understanding of how the West can co-exist with Islam. Recommended for academic and public libraries."

Educational Media Reviews Online


  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
  • One World Int’l Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
  • Kansas Int'l Film Fest


Merel Beernink

Merel Beernink finished her Theatre School (Eindhoven) in 1995. After seven years directing plays she turned to directing documentaries. For Dutch public broadcaster AVRO Beernek created three series of portraits of photographers entitled Hollands Zicht (Dutch Vision). Beernink's first full-length documentary follows the stories of three Dutch women who have recently converted to Islam. THAT PARADISE WILL BE MINE delves into the personal lives of these women to discover their motivations and consequences. (8/14)


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