In the wake of Comedy Central's decision to cave to Islamic extremist threats and censor an episode of South Park, a film that makes fun of jihadists is doing big business in the U.K. In its opening weekend, The Four Lions, a mockumentary about a group of bumbling terrorists, had the highest per theater average for a new release.
Though it has yet to pick up a distributor in the United States, the film made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is sparking considerable debate. Writer David Cox of The Guardian argues that portraying terrorists as idiots trivializes the danger they pose:
"The idea that terrorists must be fools belongs alongside other reassuring lies that we tell our children, such as 'all bullies are cowards'. Grownups who take refuge in it aren't striking a bold blow against an unnecessarily puffed-up enemy; they're deluding themselves."
But Radio Times critic Adam Smith disagrees, writing, "Some may feel that the subject matter should be off-limits to comedians, but there's nothing new about cinema mocking a dangerous enemy---just look at Charlie Chaplin's classic The Great Dictator."
So what do you think? Is it healthy to make fun of our enemies and those who would do us harm or does doing so make us less resolute about confronting them?
Here's a clip: