Sunday 21 January 2018


For obvious reasons, western film-makers tend to avoid tackling the subject of al-Q'aida head on, but in India a low-budget Bollywood film called Without You Bin Laden has become a most unlikely hit.

Directed by Abhishek Sharma and made for half nothing, the film has made over $2m in Indian cinemas and has done well on limited release in the UK, Australia and around the Middle East.

In it, a young Pakistani journalist who wants to get a visa to become a TV journalist in the US uses an actor to fake an exclusive interview with Osama bin Laden. His ruse works too well, and soon he's at the centre of a media storm.

It's apparently very funny, but Pakistani pop star Ali Zafar, who stars in it, denies that it makes light of terror attacks.

"The point of the movie," he has said, "is to comment on how fear is generated -- through humour, some very serious issues can be commented on".

The Pakistani authorities do not seem to agree, and have banned the film, though it has apparently found an enthusiastic underground audience. It opened in the US last week, and will hopefully be shown here at some point.

Irish Independent

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