This is the name of a film made about the Israel-Arab conflict by Irish artist Nicky Larkin. He writes about the experience of making the film, and how it changed him, in a column for yesterday's Irish Independent. This is how it begins: 'I used to hate Israel. I used to think the Left was always right. Not any more'. Larkin goes on to detail the process by which his views began to change through talking to Palestinians and Israelis, and the reception he got when he returned home:
The problem began when I resolved to come back with a film that showed both sides of the coin. Actually there are many more than two. Which is why my film is called Forty Shades of Grey. But only one side was wanted back in Dublin. My peers expected me to come back with an attack on Israel. No grey areas were acceptable.
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 am also frustrated by the anti-Israel activists' attitude to freedom of speech.
Free speech must work both ways. But back in Dublin, whenever I speak up for Israel, the Fiachras and Fionas look at me aghast, as if I'd pissed on their paninis.
This one-way freedom of speech spurs false information.