The relatives of victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks on London have called for a boycott of Four Lions, the British feature film being released this week which seeks to satirise four aspiring suicide bombers.
The comedy, which satirist Chris Morris began researching before the 2005 attacks, tells the story of four young Muslim fundamentalists, including a white convert, who travel from Yorkshire to London for a bungled assault on the marathon.
The film goes on nationwide release today after receiving broadly positive reviews, but families of the 52 innocent people killed on board Tube trains and a London bus by four British Muslims said the production was based too closely on events that still remain raw.
Graham Foulkes, whose 22-year-old son David was on the Circle Line train bombed at Edgware Road, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “The film is about four lads from the north, all with strong Yorkshire accents — and the bombers were from Yorkshire — travelling down to London. It's very specific. It's very aligned to what happened in 2005 and they talk about bombing in London. That's not parodying or being satirical about terrorists. It's making money about a specific attack.”
Mr Foulkes said he and other victims’ families were calling on cinemas to boycott the movie, which was shortlisted for an award at the Sundance film festival earlier this year.
The think-tank Demos said the film could be a “critical weapon in the fight against terrorism” because it ridiculed the aims of the men involved.
Morris, whose Brass Eye series for Channel 4 debunked media-hyped or taboo issues including drug abuse and paedophilia, has said Four Lions is a bid to examine the issues behind the “War on Terror” by lampooning the “Dad's Army side to terrorism”.
Warp Films, the movie's producers, said it in no way condoned the events of July 2005.