Michael Winterbottom has been talking about Murder in Samarkand
Arlington, Va.: Hi Michael! I’m a big fan of yours as well as Steve Coogan’s. I loved “24 Hour Party People” and “Tristram Shandy” (and I’m fairly obsessed with everything Alan Partridge). I saw that you’re going to be reunited again for “Murder in Samarkand,” but I was wondering if you two have any comedies in the works as well?
Michael Winterbottom:”Murder in Samarkand” is hopefully going to be funny. It’s a black comedy about torture in Uzbekistan. Steve will play Craig Murray, the British ambassador to Uzbekistan, who spends a lot of time in bars and at dancing clubs. It’s sort of Alan Partridge or Tony Wilson, trying to prevent the British government from using information they’ve obtained through torture.
If I wasn’t so easy-going, I might be a bit alarmed. But A Mighty Heart seems to show that the US public doesn’t want a serious exploration of the “War on Terror”, no matter how critically acclaimed.
My hope for Murder in Samarkand is that the film might be the MASH or Catch 22 for our generation, helping cement a growing popular cultural consensus on the stupidity of the “War”. That would be worth my coming over personally as an idiot.
Never understimate humour as a political weapon.