Hanif Kureishi, "Weddings and Beheadings"

A filmmaker describes his unwanted career video taping beheadings.

(from Zoetrope All-Story)

It’s all hellish, the long drive there with the camera and tripod on your lap, the smell of the sack, the guns, and you wonder if this time you might be the victim. Usually you’re sick, and then you’re in the building, in the room, setting up, and you hear things from other rooms that make you wonder if life on earth is a good idea.

It’s never named outright, but this one-pager is either set in Iraq, or at least meant to recall it strongly. This isn’t so much a story as a vignette wherein the poor filmmaker describes his current predicament and how he feels about it. Things don’t change before the reader’s eyes and that works because how can they? It’s a hopeless situation.
You should read this story here.
Here’s an interview with Hanif Kureishi wherein he says he’s about to make a 10 minute film version of this story.
Here’s the Hanif Kureishi’s homepage.

Rainer Maria, “Catastrophe”

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