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Chris Morris Announces Jihad Film / Needs Money
David Moats , October 13th, 2008 10:02

Christopher Morris is working on a new project called Four Lions which satirises domestic terrorism in Britain and he needs your help.

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Last week, a mass email apparently originating from Warp Films, producers of Chris Morris's new project tentatively titled Four Lions, asked interested parties for monetary contributions to the cause of quality British satire.

The project, which makes fun of British Jihadis in the north of England was originally pitched as a television series and is now in the works as a feature film funded by Film 4 and produced by Warp Films. Morris has said that he hopes to do for domestic terrorists what Dad's Army did for the Nazis.

The original email is reproduced below:

Dear Lion

At the moment the detonator's going off and you're part of it but until the effect has gone exponential, your mails are being sorted by one person so bear with me.

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. Its 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.

As for your offer, we're hoping to set up a one click pay scheme soon. We'll let you know.

Hope that helps

Deirdre Steed.

PS Please pass this on to ten more people.

Most emails that ask you to spread it to 10 friends usually threaten you with cancer or impotence if you don't do so in the next 2 days. In this case the incentive seems to be a small part in the film for a £25-100 donation and of course the personal satisfaction of having contributed to something of artistic merit.

It seems hard to believe that such a respected figure as Morris would be having funding troubles but perhaps that speaks to the sensitivity of the issue. In my mind, Morris's challenge is not making a comedy out of a dark topic but rather attempting to make a comedy out of a subject already satirised to perfection by Monkey Dust more than three years ago.

Regardless, The Quietus wishes Morris the best of luck and hopes that he pulls of both an artistic coup and a grass-roots financing triumph. If any of our readers are interested, write to fundingmentalism@warpfilms.com to join the mailing list.