I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Friday, 10 September 2010
My Name is Khan and I am not a terrorist
So, it's 9 years since 911 and the war in Iraq has been won, terrorism defeated (except in Northern Ireland), Tony Blair have won this year's election if he had been labour leader and I am a sandwich.
To commemorate 911 you can do something stupid or you can do something not stupid.
Watching My name is Khan is not stupid. It is a wonderful film, an internationalist 911 masterclass in tolerance, a movie where Shah Rukh Khan channels Mr Bean, Dustin Hoffman and Forest Gump and surpasses them all in his role of Rizvul Khan, a man with Aspergers who sets out to tell the president that "My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist" after his stepson is killed in a racist attack. My name is Khan carries a message of humanity, hope and unity, but with a hard dose of reality thrown in. It even gets in a little dig at Jack Bauer, there is a flash of weird street photography and the commentary on Hurricane Katrina is perfect. It is a film that carries a message for people all over the world, that is relevant to people in the UK, in Africa, in Asia, all over the world in fact.
Shah Rukh Khan says, "It’s not about a disabled man’s fight against disability. It’s a disabled man’s fight against the disability that exists in the world—terrorism, hatred, fighting ... My Name is Khan is also about Islam and the way the world looks at Islam but we are not taking any sides. We are only trying to say that there are only good people and bad people. There are no good Hindus, bad Hindus, good Christians, bad Christians. Either you are a good person or a bad person. Religion is not the criterion, humanity is."
For more on Shah Rukh Khan, you can attend the Shah Rukh Khan conference here, and look at how SRK has become a global phenomenon here in this documentary on Austrian Shah Rukh Khanis.
The Full programme of the conference is here.