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A film about a jihadist attack on Paris is on hold because of eerie echoes with reality

Posters for the film placed all over the city’s metro have been taken down.
Nov 17th 2015, 4:22 PM 10,533 34

A FILM ABOUT a wave of jihadist attacks on Paris due this week has been pulled from cinemas, with the release of a string of others also touching on terrorism now being questioned.

Made in France, about a series of simultaneous attacks on the French capital, had already been dropped by distributors in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket shootings in January.

Its hard-hitting poster shows a Kalashnikov assault rifle — the weapon used by gunmen in Friday’s bloodshed — superimposed on the Eiffel tower, with the tagline, “The threat comes from within” in reference to the sort of homegrown extremists now known to have been behind both attacks on the French capital this year.

The plot of the thriller has eerie parallels with reality, with an extremist cell planning a series of shootings and bombings across Paris “that will shake France” and the world.

“We are at war,” their leader says, in a chilling counterpoint to President Francois Hollande’s words to parliament on Monday.

The film’s producers ordered the posters be taken down from the city’s metro system the morning after the attacks but insisted it would be wrong if this “brilliant picture” was never shown in cinemas.

Director Nicolas Boukhrief said he made the film as an antidote to the “poison” of jihadist propaganda, aiming it at alienated youth in the country’s sometimes troubled suburbs.

“History has caught up with the film,” said the former journalist, whose father is Algerian, and who began investigating how young people on tough housing estates had become radicalised after Mohamed Merah killed seven people including three Jewish schoolchildren in the 2012 attacks on Toulouse and Montauban in southern France

“The young people in the film are French,” he said, “just like the Kouachi brothers” who carried out the Charlie Hebdo killings and most of the attackers so far identified from Friday’s bloodshed. 

Cinema ‘must open dialogue’

Doubts were also raised about the release of three other French films which touch on the sensitive subject of terror and jihadist brides.

Source: le coq gaulois/YouTube

Les Cowboys, which tells the story of a French father’s search for his daughter after she runs off with her Islamist boyfriend to a training camp in Pakistan, was due to be released next week, with Taj Mahal, about a young girl caught in the 2008 attack on Mumbai, to hit the screens a week later.

But the makers of both films told AFP that they were convinced the openings should go ahead as planned.

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Les Cowboys producer Alain Attal said it was wrong to call into question whether the film — shot by Thomas Bidegain, who wrote the Oscar-nominated A Prophet — should be released because it might upset or offend.

“This film is not about what happened (in Paris)… this terrible thing which has happened in front of our eyes and which is traumatising us.

“No, we should not be doubting ourselves. We cannot let guys in cars with Kalashnikovs change the way things are,” he argued.

© – AFP 2015

Read: Paris terror attacks: Multi-city raids and manhunts as police close the net on suspects >

Read: Mother and daughter among victims of carnage at Bataclan concert >

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