Free Screening! Director in Person!
Special Advance Screening! Director Chris Morris in Person!
Presented by Drafthouse Films, BUFF, and The Brattle
Free! First come, first served! Stone Hearth Pizza will be selling pizza by the slice… come on down for some pizza and beer before the show!
(2010) dir Chris Morris w/Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar [97 min]
FOUR LIONS is a whip-smart laugh out loud comedy that illuminates the war on terror through satire and farce. Blitzing the notion that a comedy about jihadists is a contradiction in terms, the film grossed an astounding £3M at the UK box office and was hailed by critics as “a brilliant film – astonishingly funny” causing “so many different kinds of laughter it’s almost incredible”.
Writer director Chris Morris based the idea on extensive research. “These cells have the same group dynamics as bachelor parties and five-a-side basketball teams. Plans are upset by arguments, egos, testosterone and idiocy. Terrorism is about ideology but it’s also about doofuses.”
Four Lions has taken the festival circuit by storm. Following its sell-out success as the buzz hit of the Sundance Film Festival, Four Lions packed the coveted closing night slot of South by Southwest, won the Independent Camera Award at Karlovy Vary and was voted Best Narrative Feature by audiences at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
“Chris Morris’s FOUR LIONS, a farce about British “homegrown terrorists,” had us squirming and laughing in equal measure.
Homegrown terrorism is a perfect subject for Morris’s scalpel and sledgehammer: here in the UK, “homegrown terrorism” has been the basis for laws prohibiting looking at certain websites, laws allowing for secret spying, laws allowing for groundless stop-and-searches, laws suspending habeas corpus, and advertising campaigns encouraging Britons to go through each others’ rubbish bins looking for evidence of bomb-making equipment.
In Morris’s Four Lions (as in real life), homegrown jihadism is real and alive — and hopeless (also largely true to real life, where most of these nefarious supercriminals succeed primarily in killing themselves). Five suicide bombers conspire to blow themselves up to strike a blow for radical Islam against corrupt British society. Two travel to Pakistan for terrorist training (they don’t fare very well — unsurprising given that one of them is convinced that heaven is like the Rubber Dingy Rapids ride at the Alton Towers coaster park); in their absence, Barry, the white convert and super-radical, makes an even bigger hash of their domestic operation.
But it’s not all broad caricature; by showing us the story from the bombers’ perspective, Morris gets well into our discomfort zone (especially with the tender family scenes with Omar, the protagonist, whose loving wife and son are entirely supportive of his plan to kill himself). PictureSpinal Tap for suicide bombers and you’ll get the picture.”
– Cory Doctorow, boing boing