Chris Morris' satirical jihad film
Yes it's hard to believe but Chris Morris, the controversial comedian and film-maker, has managed to get his Four Lions film funded and into production, and it looks like it will start filming this summer.
The satirical comedy of four British teenagers who become fundamentalists and suicide bombers is almost unbelievably going ahead and will be made into a feature film, and although it's destined for controversy galore, the fact is it really is going to be made.
Brass Eye and The Day Today were two shows that really made him get noticed in British comedy and beyond. His dark, satirical view was something rarely seen on television, and he definitely took the idea of spoofing famous people in interviews to the public before Sasha Baron Cohen made it his trademark.
So according to Screen Daily and Digital Spy (who once again don't credit the source article with a link), the film is set to begin production this year, and it won't be long after that we'll see it, hopefully, however the word is that the budget won't be that big.
From the previous announcement about the film, back in January, come a couple of comments from the company and producers behind the film. This first comment tells us a little about the film and how it's being pitched.
"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. As Spinal Tap understood heavy metal and Dr Strangelove the Cold War, Four Lions understands modern British jihadis."
This next comment shows how we should be thinking about it, not as a serious investigation, but a comic look at the whole scenario and how that comedy can help offset a great deal of the unsubstantiated fear.
"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...
...Terrorism is about ideology, but it's also about berks."
I love that comment, and while some may find this offensive and are already leaping out of their sofas, or rather getting assistance to stand and find a pad and paper to write a complaint to someone, others understand that you need to laugh in the face of our fears in order to overcome them, and isn't that just what Morris is suggesting?
Still, as much as I understand that and laugh at Chris Morris' sense of humour and previous shows, I did find his paedophile television comedy special just a little too much, and I wonder if this film will push others to similar places and beyond.
I'm still amazed it received the funding, and for that I applaud all those concerned. Now let's hope that Morris brings to the project what he did for Brass Eye and Day Today.