• Four Lions

    Dir. Christopher Morris | 2010 | Spine No. 1

    Four disillusioned British men have a secret plan to become terrorists.

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Terrorism may be about ideology, its also about idiots.

In a British city, four men have a secret plan. Omar (Riz Ahmed) is disillusioned about the treatment of Muslims around the world and is determined to become a soldier. This is the most exciting idea Waj (Kayvan Novak) has ever heard. Of course, Waj lets Omar do all of his thinking for him, so every idea Omar shares is the most exciting one he's heard.

Along for the ride, but opposed to Omar and everyone else on Earth is the white Islamic convert Barry (Nigel Lindsay). If he had half the self-knowledge of a duck he’d realize he only joined the cell to channel his nihilism. Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) is the odd man out. He can make a bomb, but he can’t blow himself up just now coz his sick dad has “started eating newspaper." Instead he’s training crows to fly bombs through windows. This is what Omar has to deal with. Together they must strike a decisive blow on their own turf, but can any of them so much as strike a match without punching himself in the face?

Four Lions plunges us beyond seeing these young men as unfathomably alien. It undermines the folly of just wishing them away or, even worse, alienating the entire culture from which they emerge. The film is neither pro- nor anti-religious. The jokes fly out of the characters’ conflicts, excesses and mistakes. Crackling with wit and tension, Four Lions is the essential response to our failure to engage with reality and a high toast to the idea that laughter is better than killing.

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