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 Post subject: The State
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:41 am 
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Shown over four nights in a row, but worth watching. As usual, we had the pre-broadcast complaints about how it glamourises ISIS, but it did nothing of the sort.

There was little new in it, unless you count the sense of camaraderie shown; this alone could account for why so many aimless young people are attracted to it. The women might not be allowed to leave the hostel unless accompanied by their male guardian, but we saw scenes of sisterhood and light hearted mealtimes, which made it look quite fun.

The men, on the other hand, were advised not to get too fond of each other because they seldom live longer than a year. Which is absolutely fine, since they all want to be martyred anyway, according to those in charge.

The biggest problem for me was the doctor, Shakira. How could such an educated woman not realise what she was going into? She seemed surprised to find, on arriving, that not only would she have to marry as soon as possible, but her work as a doctor would depend on her husband's permission. And she brought her nine-year-old son with her, unaware that he would be trained as a jihadi. The boy playing the role of Isaac was very convincing in his transformation from sweet biddable child, to a potential monster, joining his friends in a game of football with a human head.

It was good to see Nitin Ganatra (Masood from "Eastenders") popping up in a very short scene as an outraged father who had travelled to Syria to bring back his son who, in turn, had travelled there to find out what had happened to his brother, an earlier convert. Ganatra gave it both barrels, so angry he didn't even seem afraid that he was surrounded by armed men who would have shot him at the drop of a hat. His total bemusement at why he'd now lost two sons to ISIS, and his fury at their ingratitude towards the country which had taken in their parents as immigrants and given them a decent life, was painful to watch. Jalal, the son, had to pretend that he cared nothing for his parents any longer - though, later, we saw him tentatively asking if his father would be allowed to go free. We also saw him in an earlier scene, hiding his upset at being ordered to delete pictures of his mother from his phone, on the grounds that "there are no uncovered women here".

So, uncomfortable viewing but well worth a look.


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