What’s On: Shoot on Sight

31Aug08

Shoot on Sight (if you dare).. Released in the UK from 22nd August 2008
all credits: British Film Magazine

Visit the ‘Shoot on Sight’ web page for details
Click Here >

Here is a film to challenge the meaning of going to the cinema. Should it be an act of escapism? Or something much more meaningful? Something life changing? Perhaps even life saving! Actually, few people in the world, not even your average fanatic would deny everyone the pleasure of some escapism now and then. But for the world to go on and to right a few wrongs, the flight into the fantasies of James Bond / Harry Potter land could do with some balancing by forays into films closer to reality.

Enter ‘Shoot On Sight’ (SOS), a terrifyingly honest look at the world of London 7/7; July 7, 2007 suicide bombings which snuffed out 52 lives and blighted many, many more.

Already wishing you had opted for the latest Hollywood blockbuster instead? That’s understandable. SOS not only provides some challenging sociological comments. It is also a riveting thriller.

The focus is actually the streets of London immediately after the bombings and the way the explosion impacted on Londoners thinking.
For example, the Metropolitan Police decision to henceforth shoot suspected terrorists at the drop of a hat or anything else equally suspicious. The films star cast includes Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy), Greta Scacchi (Presumed Innocent), Naseeruddin Shah (A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Om Puri (Charlie Wilsons War) and Sadie Frost (The Krays).

Filmed on location in London, Shoot on Sight is directed by Jagmohan Mundhra, an American-citizen born in India, who was living in London at the time of the terrorist attacks.
After the 7/7 bombings, he found, not surprisingly, that the way he was perceived by Londoners was completely changed and that even the most basic of everyday routines had been irrevocably altered. For example? “Taxi drivers would not stop for me,” notes Mundhra. A tiny point, but telling.

In the film, the events are much more dramatic: an innocent Muslim is killed by the police in the wake of 7/7 and a successful Muslim police officer born in Pakistan, married to an English rose – is asked to head up an internal investigation to hunt-down suspected suicide-bombers.
But the investigation is quickly clouded by allegations of racism and religious profiling and, understandably, the man in charge, finds it tricky and then some to find the best way forward.

In short, this is distinctly not a popcorn movie. But it may well be the kind of fare that intelligent people have been hungering for.

Shoot on Sight:
Click Here >
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