In early 2000, Al Qaeda was waging war in Saudi Arabia, they were also filming themselves at war and training, whilst the security services also filmed. Path Of Blood, is that footage.
The opening scene of Path Of Blood is perhaps the most bizarre opening to a documentary I have ever witnessed. I almost switched it off, thinking it was actually a mockumentary, in very poor taste.
A bunch of young men are laughing and joking, attempting to do take after take to camera, making each other mess-up and laugh. It’s all weirdly familiar and fun, until you realise that what’s being asked of the man on camera is what he’ll feel when he blows himself, and a lot of innocent people, up.
We see the same men laughing and joking outside as they have wheelbarrow races in the desert sun. One asking for the footage to be deleted because his trousers fell down.
It all feels wrong. It feels wrong to be watching them, it feels wrong to have them in anyway humanised or that they can be in anyway ‘normal’. But then, what did we expect? A bunch of men sat around constantly raging at the West?
Anyone who has ever spent time with a bunch of men will know that things quickly descend to crude jokes, drinking and swearing. Apart from the latter, it seems these men are no different.
But then, of course they are different. These are men training, preparing themselves to die in the name of what they believe and kill as many innocent people as they can in the process.