Nicky Larkin is an Irish artist and filmmaker whose documentary on Israel and Palestine Forty Shades of Grey is a shaping up as splendidly refreshing outbreak of insolence in the tradition of Brendan Behan ("the first duty of an author is to let down his country") and Oscar Wilde ("a gentleman never offends unintentionally"). Writing in Sunday's Irish Independent:
An Irish artist is supposed to sign boycotts, wear a PLO scarf, and remonstrate loudly about The Occupation. But it's not just artists who are supposed to hate Israel. Being anti-Israel is supposed to be part of our Irish identity, the same way we are supposed to resent the English. But hating Israel is not part of my personal national identity. Neither is hating the English. I hold an Irish passport, but nowhere upon this document does it say I am a republican, or a Palestinian. . .
Here's the paradox. The better and braver Irish writers and artists have long resisted the reduction of Ireland's necessarily and properly confounding Forty Shades of Green into the boozy brogue and blarney caricature that stage-Irish and low-brow American culture likes so much. But Ireland's own...More >>