Forty Shades of Grey: How Travel Opened Nicky Larkin’s Eyes

You can’t travel with a closed mind.  You can try, but inevitably something will come along and bust down your door and break in.  Travel, for better or for worse, opens your mind.  Are you prepared for that?

Nicky Larkin is an Irish filmmaker who had exactly that experience when he recently traveled to Israel.  Ireland, for reasons I really don’t understand, is overwhelmingly anti-Israel in its media and political bias.  So Nicky Larkin applied for arts funding and flew to Israel, planning and expecting to make a documentary about how bad Israel is.

How his eyes were opened!

In an interview with the filmmaker, he describes his surprise when he enters Israel and instead of seeing a country of Jews clad in kapatas with peyos dangling, he encounters the secular and cosmopolitan world of Tel Aviv.  It was not what he expected.  The doors to his mind were flung wide open.

As a result, he made a documentary, called “Forty Shades of Grey,” that explores the Israeli-Palestinian reality.  It is not black and white like the media portrays it.  It is, instead, Forty Shades of Grey.  And while he doesn’t talk about why he chose to use the number forty, it is a number that holds special significance for us Jews.

Watch the interview with Nicky Larkin here:

And watch the film trailer for “Forty Shades of Grey” here:

I’m sure it will be a much more worthwhile watch than the much more hyped up “Fifty Shades of Grey” that everyone keeps talking about!


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  1. Another Instance of Travel Opening Eyes: A British Muslim Changes His Mind About Israel | Travelling Rabbi - [...] recently wrote about Nicky Larkin, the Irish filmmaker, who changed his views from being anti-Israel to being pro-Israel after ...

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