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Today is the day the Oscars are announced and it's also one of the days
that the Documentary Short nominees are being shown in theaters across
the country. This is the first year such a show was shown and I must
say that all the nominees were exceptional...though generally rather
depressing as well. I didn't mind that, as the films were intended to
point out societal problems--and that is not what I'd consider 'fun'.
Of the five films, this is, in my opinion, probably the second best of them--and a very strong contender for the Oscar. The film impressed me as a very brave film with a very positive message (more about that later). I was also impressed with the effort put into making "Killing in the Name", as the film makers traveled from the Middle East to Indonesia to get the project completed.
The film stars Ashraf--a Jordanian with a very sad story. It seems that when he and his wife got married, some idiot suicide bomber attacked the hotel where the reception was being held--and 29 of the people at the wedding were killed--including 3 of the 4 parents! Now, years later, Ashraf has taken on a project--to confront the jihad mentality and those who might become the next generation of suicide terrorists. The film is made up of footage of Ashraf as well as stock footage and interviews with an evil cleric who advocates terror bombings--with complete indifference to the Muslims killed as a result.
The film does a good job of trying to mobilize the Muslim world to stop the terror--and his message carried a lot of weight since he, too, is a Muslim. One odd potential problem with this message is that it can EASILY be inferred that Ashraf might be encouraging bombers to be sure never to kill Muslims...but what about non-Muslims? This is a question I didn't quite feel the film addressed. But, even if this is the case, the film is very powerful and packs a great message for social change. Exceptionally well made, poignant and well-made from start to finish. And the best part? When Ashraf talked to Indonesian students who thought suicide terror was justified--what a dramatic moment! By the way, when you see the film you may or may not get the meta-message that it MIGHT be okay to bomb so long as Muslims aren't injured. I'd love to hear your feelings about it one way or the other.
UPDATE: The Oscar winner was "Strangers No More". I wouldn't have picked it since it was a rather tame and non-controversial film but it was uplifting and nice.
Without a doubt the worst documentary about terrorism I've ever seen. Muslims don't kill for their religion, they do it for other reasons. Carrie Lemack is actually exalting a beautiful misunderstood religion. I give this one star that's all. Carrie should just mind her own business as well. Not suitable enough for me to even consider watching either. Terrorist acts is really rare but they're a part of living in this world. I certainly wouldn't recommend this useless documentary to anyone. Like every other relative in that she's certainly not a terrorism expert. You want to stop terrorism fine get off your butt and actually fly out there to the Middle East to start a school or something Miss Lemack. Sorry to be so sharp but your film is not worth watching.
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