Tag Archives: omid djalili

More commentary on The Infidel

Chris Hasting at The Sunday Times writes about The Infidel and another film, weighing up humour against the risk of causing offence to the Jewish and Muslim communities.

Over at the Independent, Arifa Akbar interviews David Baddiel giving him the opportunity to explain some of what he was trying to achieve with the film:

“I wasn’t interested in writing about Muslims and Jews per se, but I am always interested in tackling subjects that aren’t being tackled, just for the sake of newness,” he told The Independent. “Because people have become terrified of giving offence, religion and race are now rather left out of comedy.

“For me, it becomes fertile ground. It’s very much about race and culture and ethnicity, in a very gloves-off way. But it’s not trying to cause offence: I’m very uninterested in that as a writer.”

Sideways News and The Daily Telegraph talks through similar issues, whilst George Pitcher, The paper’s Religion Editor, calls it “…almost the most important film of the year,” in a blog post.

I’m totally excited. For those who haven’t been keeping up, this is my brother’s latest film, starring Omid Djalili and Richard Schiff, written by David Baddiel. It’s out in April and should be awesome. My review, such as it is, lives here.

The Infidel Movie – Baddiel, Djalili, Schiff & co…

…and not forgetting my brotherThe Infidel Movie is is the next film due for release from Slingshot’s slate, and tonight we got invited to the first UK screening of it – for ‘cultural influencers’, and apparently siblings who blog incessantly about soup…

I was honoured, as ever, to be included in the audience which included not a small number of celebrities, luminaries, writers, producers, directors and friends, and delighted and proud to enjoy this wonderfully heartwarming, funny, tightly orchestrated, beautifully soundtracked film.

For those not in the know, it’s the story of MAHMUD NASIR (Djalili), the ‘Homer Simpson’ of Islam, finding out that he has to impress his son’s father-in-law-to-be (a fundamentalist Islamic cleric) within an hour of discovering that he was adopted, and his real/birth parents are actually Jewish. He seeks council from his nemesis, Yank Jewish London Cabbie LENNY (Schiff), and tutelage in what it means to be a good Jew.

As controversial as that might potentially sound, the film manages to handle the tension and controversy without descending into twee-ness; it delivers a happy ending without a Deus Ex Machina, the music and pacing and humour is wonderful, the characterisation is compelling and the story is heartwarming in the extreme. I find myself wanting to go to both a muslim wedding and a bar mitzvah, befriend Richard Schiff and go drinking with Omid (although as a Baha’i he probably doesn’t drink…)…

Anyway, needless to say I recommend it, and I hope you all go and see it in the cinemas when it is released, around April time I think (become a Facebook Fan to get the news as it comes), and buy it on DVD or Blu-Ray when it comes out later in the year.

It is a wonderful movie…