IT WAS AN EVENT THAT SHOCKED THE WORLD. THIS IS THE STORY YOU HAVEN’T HEARD.
Director Michael Winterbottom followed his The Road to Guantanamo (2006) with another compelling look at people who get caught up in the politics of the post-9/11 world. This film is Mariane Pearl’s own story of what happened when her husband, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan and subsequently beheaded. The filmmakers employ a convincing documentary style in the portrayal of the hunt for the kidnappers and Pearl’s anxious but restrained waiting for a breakthrough. The movie has its limitations (a journey to the inevitable, after all), but the acting is fine.
2007-U.S. 108 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Brad Pitt, Andrew Eaton, Dede Gardner. Directed by Michael Winterbottom. Screenplay: John Orloff. Novel: Mariane Pearl. Cast: Angelina Jolie (Mariane Pearl), Dan Futterman (Daniel Pearl), Archie Panjabi (Asra), Irrfan Kahn, Will Patton, Denis O’Hare.
Trivia: Jennifer Aniston was allegedly considered for the part of Mariane Pearl.
Last word: “I first met [Jolie] with Brad [Pitt] and my own dad in Namibia when we were talking about whether we were going to do it or not. I think there were lots of things that were very, very lucky from our point of view because both Brad and Angelina knew Mariane and were really personally committed to making it a story. Also, I think Mariane and Angelina are very similar in lots of ways – Mariane’s views about journalism are quite similar to Angelina’s views about her work with the UN and so on. So, I think the reason why Angelina wanted to do it was because she felt connected to Mariane and felt she recognised a lot of things in her.” (Winterbottom, IndieLondon)