Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Movie Moments: #110


Four Lions (2010)

I am surprised that this British black comedy has not attracted wider attention, both in relation to the film and in protests by Muslim groups.  Just as Catch 22 starts off as funny but starts to gradually become more bleak, disturbing and sad, so Four Lions alters from comedy to tragedy. It’s a film with many funny moments but at the same time many of its themes and scenes will remain in the mind in this current context of terrorism, conflict and polarisation.

Four incompetent English jihadists set out to train for, and commit, suicide bombings in London.

Barry:  You can't win an argument just by being right!

Some of the best scenes:

Chris Morris is both the writer and the director and spent three years researching the project.  This included speaking to terrorism experts, police, the secret service and imams as well as ordinary Muslims.  He wrote the script in 2007 and has said that his research predated the 2007 London bombings.
"It was an attempt to figure it out, to ask, 'What's going on with this?' This [the "War on Terror"] is something that's commanding so much of our lives, shaping so much of our culture, turning this massive political wheel. I was wondering what this new game was all about. But then 7/7 hit that with a fairly large impact, in that we were suddenly seeing all these guys with a Hovis accent.  Suddenly you're not dealing with an amorphous Arab world so much as with British people who have been here quite a long time and who make curry and are a part of the landscape. So you've got a double excavation going on.”

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