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The Wide Angle: Comedy & the war on terror


The Wide Angle

In this illuminating bar chat, film buffs discuss two of the most insightful comedies of our time, Four Lions and In The Loop. Guest expert and media lecturer Dr Philip Hammond argues that comedy has provided greater insights into the nature of terrorism and the war on terror than straight documentaries and drama. The absurdity, political emptiness and narcissism expressed by the characters in these films captures accurately the nature of both suicide bombers and the war on terror, says Dr Hammond. As the Boston marathon explosions capture our imagination and pose an uncanny resemblance to the plot in Four Lions, Dr Hammond’s point is extremely timely.

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Related topics: Debates, Global, Social Change

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SONY DSC-WX200 said:

Halt Whining And Initiate your own men Distribution campaign As a substitute .

z khan said:

Some forms of terror are worse than others, 5 guys blowing themselves up and killing 1, 000 innocent civilians for whatever ideology is frightening.

We fail to account to how economic sanctions has become the modern nuclear weapon, were the population of a country is starved to death instead of being killed all at once. This can be applied to so many nations across the world.

Who would you call the bigger terrorist?

Caterina said:

Both the films are brilliant, funny and tragic at the same time. I have been following the Four Lions discussion with interest, I find it deeply connected with the Boston marathon bombing.

Lena said:

LOL @ the guy in the discussion who says Four Lions doesn’t represent Muslims accurately. Firstly, the film is a parody about terrorism and not something that sets out to redress a negative representation of Islam. Secondly, to the extent that it does portray Islam, I think it does it brilliantly – shows that British Muslims are a varied bunch really and the terrorists in the film are not very religious at all, just regular blokes yet, it’s the religious brother who doesn’t want to get involved in all their terror activities who is arrested and interrogated when things blow up. C’mon, genius film.

Tom said:

Love the story about the Yemeni boat!

Bell said:

This is the most intelligent conversation I’ve ever seen on the subject of terrorism and the war on terror.

Jenn said:

All comments seem to be about Four lions discussion but what about In the loop isn’t that very close to how it is too, I mean what is the government response to Boston? More security panics, shoot people and carry on as ever with no vision capable of inspriring people. So all we do is get togther to hate bombers- doesn’t seem much of a strategy to me.

Justin Peters said:

Don’t agree with point about serious Islam not being represented well – they do lock their wives up don’t they?

selima said:

WOW this is timely so marathon bombings are reality mimicking film

Abe Kishun said:

Very watchable not sure if I’m convinced though as these people on either side of war on terror do have a cause don’t they?

Johnno said:

Dr Hammaond’s point about Omar not being marginalised etc is really true and as he says scary

Julia W said:

Good work as ever Worldbytes people I think the point about terrorists being a product of Western prejudices and anti-consumerism is really apt.

S Kingston said:

Terrific discussion really insightful more of this please everyone does seem to be non plused about terrorism in the mainstream media