Wednesday, June 19, 2019

How to Fake a War - film review

This is how World War Three starts, an explosive mix of fame obsessed celebrities, fake news, international meddling in a sovereign state's affairs, naivety and misadventure.

Hip-hop star Harry Hope (Jay Pharoah) claims to have won every music and acting award going and now has its sights set on the Nobel Peace Prize. So when he hears about war breaking out on the border of Georgia and a neighbouring republic that no-one has ever heard of, he sees this as his chance and announces a major Concert for Peace. But almost immediately a ceasefire is brokered and Harry is annoyed that his opportunity for greater fame has been undermined. So he tasks his PR consultant, Kate (Katherine Parkinson), and her sister and intern, Peggy (Lily Newmark),with manufacturing a fake conflict for long enough for Harry's concert to be seen as the catalyst for peace. 

This is as dubious a proposition as it sounds and leads to mayhem, violence and the build up to potentially serious international conflict. 

Despite being billed as a comedy, this is more often very uncomfortable viewing. You may laugh at this seemingly ridiculous story, but underneath, in this world of fake news and celebrity obsession, you sort of wouldn't be too surprised to find out it's true.

How to Fake a War is screening as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019 at 1755, Saturday 22 June and at 1515, Sunday 23 June, both at Odeon, Lothian Road. You can buy tickets here.

You can read my earlier reviews from Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019 (posted on my Crafty Green Poet blog) by following the links below:

Boyz in the Wood a group of teenage boys get lost in the Scottish Highlands.

2040 - can technology offer solutions to our current climate and ecological crises?

Bait - Cornish fishermen try to adapt to a changing world. 

Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the film festival and attended a free press screening of these films.

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