Mumbai terrorist siege explored in new film at Whitechapel Gallery

CCTV footage of the siege is used in the film

CCTV footage of the siege is used in the film - Credit: Archant

As Islamist terrorism is back in the headlines, a new film looking at an earlier attack is being screened at the Whitechapel Gallery.

A scene from The Unreliable Narrator

A scene from The Unreliable Narrator - Credit: Archant

The Unreliable Narrator is a gripping visual account of the co-ordinated attacks in Mumbai, India, in November 2008 that killed 164 people and wounded more than 300.

Created by London-based artistic duo Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, the film combines CCTV footage of the siege at the Taj Hotel with recordings of phonecalls between the terrorists and their bosses, who orchestrate the violence from afar.

It splices together TV news coverage and scenes from a recent Bollywood movie on the attacks to stress the role played by technology and the media.

A female voiceover narrates the film to piece together the story for the audience, as the film highlights discrepancies in the media coverage as the dramatic events unfolded.

A spokeswoman for the Whitechapel Gallery said: “The Unreliable Narrator is part of a body of work entitled The Museum of Non Participation, which was born out of a visit to the newly opened National Gallery of Art in Islamabad where the artists witnessed large scale protests in the city.

“The event led them to investigate what happens when artistic and political acts collide.”

Most Read

The film was selected by the gallery as part of the Artists’ Film International, an annual showcase of artists’ films and videos chosen by 16 partner organisations worldwide.

Each season screens work that explores the theme of conflict, as chosen by global Artists’ Film International partners, and will run through 2015.

“Mirza and Butler’s work spans filmmaking, installation, drawing, publishing and curating,” the spokeswoman added.

“The artists draw influence from critical moments of change, protest and debate.”

The filmmakers will host an evening of performed and written responses to The Unreliable Narrator, including philosopher Howard Caygill, on February 19 from 7pm.

The Unreliable Narrator is showing at the Whitechapel Gallery from January 14 to April 26.

Tickets are £8.50/£6.50 concessions.

To book visit, email or call 0207 533 7888.