FOUR LIONS: A New Chris Morris Project

October 9th, 2008 | researchmaterial

I just received this in email, emanating from the office of Chris Morris. The bottom of the email asks for it to be sent on to ten more people. I thought I’d do this instead:

Many people have asked us exactly what the Four Lions project is.Clearly we can’t launch the film before its been shot, but I’ve pulled together a few paragraphs from the paperwork that’s been flying around.It’s shameless hype but its accurate – unlike almost everything you will have read in the press. No one who has read the script could disagree with a word here.

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.

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3 Responses to “FOUR LIONS: A New Chris Morris Project”

  1. [...] Source: Warren Ellis [...]

  2. [...] rejected by the BBC and Channel 4, Warp Films are now producing the comedy about British jihadis, Four Lions. For twenty-five quid, you can appear in the film and tell your friends you had something to do [...]

  3. [...] have copied much of the article from a press release that was circulating last autumn, picked up by Warren Ellis amongst others. But it’s too early for April Fools, and the debacle in Gaza has blown the lid [...]