Right from the beginning of Gods of Molenbeek the audience is conscious regarding the danger of Molenbeek district described as a ‘Jihadi Hotbed.’ However, the main theme of the film is not terrorism but rather the search of God from the eyes of child, Aatos.
Aatos is a Finnish-Chilean boy who lives in the multicultural district of Molenbeek, as it is proves from the many languages the children sing ‘Happy Birthday’ at the beginning of the film. The film provides an interesting and sophisticated point of view for the way the different characters describe the existence of God, which is not only determined by what they talked about but also by their environment.
Moreover, the two main characters who confront Aatos in his god research are; Amine his Muslim best friend and Flo who is his atheist classmate. Due to the way these two children talk about and discuss the existence of God they almost seem adults rather than children, even because they do not interrogate themselves as Aatos does, but rather they take for granted whatever the adults say. An example of this is when Aatos makes believe Amine to eat pork, and when he asks him why he can’t eat it his answer is ‘I don’t know if I know it’.
An interesting detail is that when the children discuss God they are always in two separate settings, Aatos and Amine in Molenbeek and Aatos and Flo in the nearby forest. In Molenbeek the presence of Muslim culture is strong by the way it is represented. Further on, the characters usually discuss not only God themes but also religious themes which is a ‘human’ concept. On the contrary, when Aatos discusses God with Flo they are in a forest, surrounded by nature and they discuss more philosophical questions regarding the existence of God and the thematic is not limited by a specific religion. Even though Flo considers it to be crazy to believe in the existence of God, Aatos doesn’t stop looking and interrogates ir almost like a game, starting from his Finnish origins and the mythological Gods.