In 2017, Great Britain saw several Jihadist terror attacks. In June, three men drove their van over pedestrians on the London Bridge, continuing their massacre with knives at Borough Market before being killed by the police. A few days later, Italian-born Valeria, who had converted to Islam in her adulthood to raise her family in Morocco, learned that her son, Youssef, was one of the perpetrators.
This documentary by Davide Rizzo and Marzia Toscano doesn’t really delve on the gory details or the motives of the son turned terrorist. Instead it follows Valeria trying to get her life back on track one day at a time in Bologna, Italy. She cares for kittens and does theatre, something she abandoned when leaving for Morocco with her then husband. She also still practises Islam, but can’t help but wonder, how her cherished religion drove her beloved son to mass murder. Should she have anticipated something or protected her son more fiercely as a child? What is the identity of a mother, when her son not only dies, but dies after such a heinous act that grieving him is forbidden? How does one rebuild their life when their earlier choices went so wrong? The film doesn’t attempt to speculate on solutions, but rather gives a voice to the humanity behind a tragedy.