For us as producers, the aim of our work on Jibril was always to create a film of the kind we have often looked for in vain on the German or European film markets - a film involving authentic characters and a modern, post-romantic love story which is both real and moving.
To many, prison may seem a bizarre location for the start of a romance, if anything a barrier to a love story, for Gabriel is on the inside and Maryam on the outside and they have no real way of sharing each other's daily lives and realities. However, this unusual setting offers a chance for Jibril to portray the love between Maryam and Gabriel movingly in a way that is free of clichés.
The director's work prior to this screenplay and her years of prison-based research enabled us to shoot parts of the film in a documentary style in a real prison in Butzbach, with real prisoners and the real prison chaplain as lay actors.
Our maxim was always to treat this feature film as much like a documentary as possible, both in terms of the images and in terms of the cast - hardly any of the actors had ever been in front of a camera before - and in our choice of locations and the way in which we used them. The decisions to work with an unusually small team and to dispense with a long financing and preproduction phase were also conscious moves.
Our film Jibril was created inside a very short period and involved close collaboration between all the departments, many of which consisted of the same people in various functions. The film's way of narrating the story is the way we want cinema to be: direct, independent and moving.