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Chris Morris meets British jihadis

Those of you who know me know that the special status accorded to religious belief (of all faiths) is something of a bugbear of mine and I’m sure it’s a subject I’m sure I’ll return to in the future. The current paranoia about anything connected with Islam is also incredibly annoying and unfathomable to me. (How can you stop the release of a computer game because it’s soundtrack contains a quote from the Qu’ran for example, have we gone mad?) But I digress.

Chris Morris, the king of UK satirists, a while back announced that he wanted to make a comedy poking fun at Jihadi terrorism. Anyone who has seen any Brass Eye episodes, which tackled other ‘media sensitive’ subjects such as paedophilia will recognize that the subject fits right into his field of expertise, both in the subject itself, and the media’s hysterical approach to it so the announcement wasn’t a particular surprise. What also isn’t a surprise sadly is it seems that the mainstream TV channels don’t want to touch it, so he’s making it into an independent film instead.

The really interesting bit is they’re looking for donations with the promise of a chance to appear in the film itself. You can email fundingmentalists {at} warpfilms(.)com or visit their Facebook group for more details.

To quote the producers:

In three years of research, Chris Morris has spoken to terrorism experts, imams, police, secret services and hundreds of Muslims. Even those who have trained and fought jihad report the frequency of farce. At training camps young jihadis argue about honey, cry for their mums, shoot each other’s feet off, chase snakes and get thrown out for smoking. A minute into his martyrdom video, a would-be bomber looks puzzled and says “what was the question again?” On millennium eve, five jihadis set out to ram a US warship. They slipped their boat into the water and carefully stacked it with explosives. It sank.

Terrorist cells have the same group dynamics as stag parties and five a side football teams. There is conflict, friendship, misunderstanding and rivalry. Terrorism is about ideology, but it’s also about berks.
Four Lions is a funny, thrilling fictional story that illuminates modern British jihad with an insight beyond anything else in our culture. It plunges us beyond seeing these young men as unfathomably alien. It undermines the folly of just wishing them away or alienating the entire culture from which they emerge. It understands how terrorism relates to testosterone. It understands jihadis as human beings. And it understands human beings as innately ridiculous. As Spinal Tap understood heavy metal and Dr Strangelove the Cold War, Four Lions understands modern British jihadis.

They’re planning on offering a one-click payment scheme soon. I’ll certainly be watching with interest.

[UPDATE: The film has now premiered at Sundance and there’s a trailer available!]

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