Weddings & beheadings

Hanif Qureishi in Prospect Magazine:

Hisstory_kureishiI have gathered the equipment together and now I am waiting for them to arrive. They will not be long; they never are.

You don’t know me personally. My existence has never crossed your mind. But I would bet you’ve seen my work: it has been broadcast everywhere, on most of the news channels worldwide. Or at least parts of it have. You could find it on the internet, right now, if you really wanted to. If you could bear to look.

Not that you’d notice my style, my artistic signature or anything like that. I film beheadings, which are common in this war-broken city, my childhood home.

It was never my ambition, as a young man who loved cinema, to film such things. Nor was it my wish to do weddings, though there are less of those these days. Ditto graduations and parties. My friends and I have always wanted to make real films, with living actors and dialogue and jokes and music, as we began to do as students. Nothing like that is possible any more. Everyday we are ageing, we feel shabby. The stories are there, waiting to be told; we’re artists. But this stuff, the death work, it has taken over.

More here.