Hussain´s Butcher Shop

The winter in Norway is long and cold. But Mr Gholam Hussain is patient, waiting for a truckload of sheep. His customers in Oslo’s eastend are mainly moslem migrants and they don’t want frozen meat, only fresh mutton. Finally a truckload of lamb arrives and Mr Hussain is triumphant doing his halal duties as a butcher. But he soon realizes that his customers are still not satisfied. Eid is approaching and they only want the meat of male sheep, not the female mutton which is in Hussain’s shop.

Mr Hussain has to use all his charm to persuade his customers that there is equality between the sexes in Norway, and that female mutton is equal to the worth of male meat.

56 year old Mr Gholam Hussain came to Norway in 1972 as one of the first migrants from Pakistan. Today there are 30.000 of Pakistani origin in Norway. Many of the first generation still run small shops and restaurants in Oslo. But the big supermarked chains are taking over and they can sell their goods at a cheaper prize than the small shops are able to.

The plans of Mr Hussains three sons are different. They are persuing a higher education instead of taking over their father’s Butcher Shop. This illustrates the dilemma facing most migrant families in Norway. The second and third generation migrants are influenced by the opportunities of the society they live in and they change, and in this case, refuse to take over the family business.


  • Beeld vor Beeld, Amsterdam, Netherland 2002
  • Norlichter Cinema, Wien, Austria 2001
  • The Norwegian Short and Documentary Film festival 2000
  • Nordic Panorama, Bergen, Norway 2000
  • Uppsala International Film Festival, Sveden 2000
  • Nordishe Filmtage Lübeck, Germany 2000
  • Broadcast

    The documentary film from Hussain’s Butcher Shop became a huge success becoming one of the most popular and acclaimed documentaries in the history of  Norwegian TV. The film was broadcast on Norwegian Broadcasting Coorporation, NRK, 4 times during the year 2000.

    The Grüner Village prize

    Fridtjof Kjaereng was awarded the community prize for Oslo’s eastend, “Grüner Village prisen 2000”, for his social commitment in his documentary films in general and for “Hussain’s Butcher Shop” in particular.


    Production company: f(x) productions AS 2000
    Producer: Fridtjof Kjaereng
    Director: Fridtjof Kjaereng
    Cinematography: Fridtjof Kjaereng
    Editor: Kjetil Solhoei
    Duration: 52 min (42 min available)
    Financing: Det Norske Filminstitutt and Nordnorsk Filmsenter AS
    First Broadcast: NRK1 in “Fakta på lordag”, Saturday 29. Januay 2000 at 10.15 PM