Christopher Morris was by his own admission a little jet-lagged when I spoke to him on October 28, 2010. It did nothing to dampen his lively spirit while discussing FOUR LIONS, a sharp and smart comedy about suicide bombers in England that is as much about group dynamics as it is about jihad. It’s one of the many topics on which Morris held forth eloquently, topics that included the death threats he’s received, though not for this film, and the political implications of Jaffa oranges.
It’s a wildly funny, bitterly smart story of average guys who have decided to become Jihadis and make a statement of same in their country of residence, England, by blowing something up. Nitpicking details, salient and not, theological conundrums, and balancing family and ideology are at the heart of a film that posits the idea that being right doesn’t necessarily win an argument, and politics and religion aren’t abstract constructs. The film stars Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, and Adeel Akhtar. Morris directed from a scrip he co-wrote with Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong, and Simon Blackwell.