Isn’t it odd that as soon as you realise that someone who you’ve admired is a run-of-the-mill antisemite your admiration instantly slams into reverse?
For example I used to like Brian Sewell’s acerbic critiques of pretentious art until he said something about “Manchester’s greedy Jews. I mean how many of Manchester’s greedy Jews would a self-regarding old queen who makes a living out of sneering actually know? See what I mean? One minute you like, next you don’t.
Anyway, this might apply to me and Peter Kosmisnsky. I have to admit his films have their good points. Like Ken Loach, perhaps. But having seem the third episode of ‘The State’ I’m wondering if I’ve been over-estimating him.
Yesterday I gave the film credit for aiming beyond the superficial message, “it’s so awful no-one’s gonna want to run away and join Isis”. I put forward the hypothesis that he was sending a more ambitious and perhaps subliminal signal, i.e., ISIS has got (the real) Islam all wrong; true Islam is peaceful.
Maybe, after all, he is only saying is that joining Islamic State is less romantic than running away to join the Foreign Legion, (isn’t that what the disenfranchised used to do?) so don’t do it.
Anyway the drama slid into farce during last night’s episode. Two scenes in particular were positively cartoonish. Number one was a ‘slave market’ where the histrionic sobbing and cowering reminded me of a rather sophisticated sixth-form production of Les Mis.
Number two. The prize for the most implausible scene showed our feisty female heroine, the doctor (no, not that doctor) risking death by making a clandestine, unchaperoned visit to the only ‘nice’ man she’d come across since she arrived, a doctor colleague at the hospital. She had a cunning plan. To avoid becoming the second wife of a horrid scary man, she proposed marriage to her unmarried colleague, only to deduce from his momentary hesitation a deadly secret that no-one else had ever spotted. “Are you gay?” (He was.) I can’t be the only one who found that scenario particularly laughable.
There are several other unanswered questions, too numerous to list, though I would quite like to know what happened to the defiant ‘singing’ slave when the non-English-speaking shahid went to paradisio, leaving his distraught widow behind.
I do understand all those people who say they’re not going to watch it on principle, but I’m not one of them. Let me rephrase that. “I’m not a refusenik, but I can understand those that are.”
I caught the tail end of Channel 4 News, where an interview with Peter Kosminsky was just winding up. Unfortunately I missed it, but I wonder if he was justifying the film and/or defending his own credibility as an authority on the subject, as he did with The Promise.