A Mighty Heart-The Daniel Pearl Movie - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-21-2007, 08:21 AM   #1
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A Mighty Heart-The Daniel Pearl Movie

I'm posting this here because of the subject matter of the movie, I think it's FYM worthy

The movie is out tomorrow, I will be seeing it. Last night I saw Charlie Rose's interview with Mariane Pearl and Angelina, if you can catch a rerun I highly recommend it. Mariane Pearl is such an impressive woman. She said her revenge is living her life the way she lives it.

http://www.charlierose.com/shows/200...-mariane-pearl

I have always wanted to read the book but I'm ashamed to say I haven't. Now I must buy it.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:23 AM   #2
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alright...i cant get sound on my computer here at work and don't have the net at home.
how exactly....does she "live her life"? I'm a bit afriad to see the movie...not afraid like OH NO!...just....i dunno...it's sad.
I dont wanna be sad right now...lol
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:26 AM   #3
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I want to see this movie. I was amazed by Mariane Pearl's strength after her husband disappeared and was killed.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:50 AM   #4
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She basically says she is not terrorized by the fear, is not hateful, she focuses on promoting who Daniel was etc. You can sort of get the idea here..

The Associated Press
Updated: 3:10 p.m. ET June 20, 2007

LOS ANGELES - The filmmakers behind the Daniel Pearl drama “A Mighty Heart” wanted to honor the slain journalist by doing what he did best — tell the straight story, unadorned by opinion, ideology or bias.

Starring Angelina Jolie as Pearl’s widow, “A Mighty Heart” unfolds in docudrama style, its just-the-facts approach putting viewers in the midst of the anguish, hope and heartache that family, friends, and colleagues underwent in the weeks after his kidnapping in Pakistan in January 2002.

Sympathies clearly are with Pearl and his loved ones as victims, but “A Mighty Heart” does not preach or condemn, does not take sides or point fingers. Like last year’s Sept. 11 saga “United 93,” the film simply tells what happened, chronicling the horror and humanity experienced by one family in our new world of terrorism.

“We were making a film about a journalist and felt we should try to reflect that,” said “A Mighty Heart” director Michael Winterbottom, who often applies documentary style and improvisation to heighten the sense of authenticity in his films, which include “Welcome to Sarajevo,” “In This World” and last year’s “The Road to Guantanamo.”

“Mariane and Daniel are both journalists. Obviously, they were trying to report on events and make sure they give as fair a view as they could. We didn’t want to build any opinions into the film; to try to tell it as accurately as possible. Why change it? Why try to dramatize it? Tell it as truthfully as you can.

Though “A Mighty Heart,” which opens Friday, features one of the biggest stars on the planet and was produced by Jolie’s romantic partner Brad Pitt, the film is notably free of Hollywood trappings.

Jolie buries herself in the role of Mariane Pearl, a French radio journalist who was six months pregnant with Daniel’s son at the time her husband was kidnapped.

What follows is a harrowing four weeks in which Jolie’s Pearl copes with false hopes and false alarms, frustrations with the multinational collection of investigators and bureaucrats on the case, and packs of reporters covering her husband’s abduction.

“This story and this time is something that everybody remembered,” Jolie said at May’s Cannes Film Festival,” where “A Mighty Heart” premiered. “Even studio heads actually care about this, they care about Danny Pearl and they care about Mariane. Even when we came to the publicity, they didn’t ask for things that were silly. All anybody had to say was that didn’t feel right, and nobody pushed.”

Based on Mariane Pearl’s memoir “A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl,” the film begins on the day of the Wall Street Journal reporter’s disappearance.

Daniel Pearl — played by Dan Futterman, the screenwriter of 2005’s “Capote” — told Mariane he might be late for dinner, as he had a meeting with a sheik for a story on Islamic militancy. He never came home, and authorities later determined the meeting was a ruse by Islamic militants to kidnap Pearl, who later was beheaded by his captors.

Almost overnight, Mariane Pearl’s circle of friends and associates widens to include U.S. diplomats, Pakistani authorities and dozens of others who take a deep interest in bringing her husband home alive.

‘Our world is becoming so much smaller’
Winterbottom had his actors spend time with their real-life counterparts, allowing the performers to get a better handle on their characters and also giving them insight into how many lives the Pearl story touched.

“When you hear them speak about that event, personally it’s changed their lives forever,” said actress Archie Punjabi, who plays Daniel Pearl’s Wall Street Journal colleague Asra Nomani. “Each one of those people is somebody’s son or daughter or husband or wife. Each one of them stopped their entire life to focus on Danny, and when you meet them, you can see how the events affected their lives.”

One of those affected was the Pearls’ son, Adam, born in France months after his father died. Futterman said he felt great responsibility playing Pearl, knowing the film could one day convey a sense of the man to his son.

“He never got to meet his father. He may see this at some point, and hopefully it will expose him to certain things about his dad and the kind of man he was,” Futterman said.

The fact that “A Mighty Heart” comes from British filmmaker Winterbottom brings the story to a wider audience than if a Pakistani director had shot the film, said Irrfan Khan, an Indian actor playing a Pakistani counterterrorism official who becomes a key ally to Mariane Pearl.

“It’s a great thing that somebody from the Western world has taken an interest in this region,” Khan said. “Our world is becoming so much smaller and smaller, and you cannot remain unaffected by other parts of the world.”


As critical to the story itself is its message of standing fast against terrorism, the filmmakers say.

“The kidnappers, their whole point is to terrorize people,” Jolie’s Mariane tells friends after they learn of Danny’s death. “I am not terrorized, and you should not be terrorized.”

Mariane Pearl felt it was critical to refuse to give in to the fear and hate that terrorism can elicit, Jolie said.

“I think she is a great example of that, because under the most extraordinary circumstances, she remained very focused on ... having sympathy for the other side, even after they did that to her husband,” Jolie said. “And having the openness to learn about them. And I’m sure she feels all that we expect her to feel, but somehow on top of that, she managed to rise above it.”

The filmmakers stuck to that notion, showing a wildly disparate group of people — Americans, Europeans, Pakistanis, Indians and others — coming together with a common goal to bring Daniel Pearl home safely.

“When I met the people involved, it struck me a lot of them had felt defeated, ashamed in a way that they hadn’t brought Danny back. Mariane manages to make them not feel like that. She made them understand a lot of positive things came from that experience,” Winterbottom said. “That must have made a huge difference for them.”
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:44 PM   #5
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THis has gotten great reviews. I'm going to try to see it this weekend.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:37 PM   #6
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I'm really wanting to see this, too. I've heard wonderful things about Jolie's performance. It's cool to see her humanitarian work and then she's got the talent, too.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:42 PM   #7
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From what I have read it is not political, does not take sides, does not overdramatize- it is documentary style like United 93. So from that standpoint I'm sure it will disappoint some people. But when you listen to Mariane Pearl you realize that this movie should not have been made any other way.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:16 PM   #8
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see her humanitarian work and then she's got the talent, too.


yeah, it is encouraging.

i'm sure she's, erm, complex, but there's no doubt that she's done a great deal of work with refugees and has done the legwork in a manner similar to Bono. she's also a genuinely talented actress, and probably one of the most beautiful women in the world, and in a very distinct way -- no one looks quite like her.

i mean, i'm sick of her and all, but i don't really begrudge her all that much.
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:32 PM   #9
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The fact that this film got a CAIR endorsement doesn't seem too promising, but im open minded and will probably see it eventually.
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Old 06-23-2007, 02:43 PM   #10
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The fact that this film got a CAIR endorsement doesn't seem too promising
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but im open minded
you always write the cleverest things.
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Old 06-23-2007, 02:58 PM   #11
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How are the two contradictory? Just because a rather dodgy group endorses a film doesn't make it bad, it's merits are found by watching the film itself. Going into a film with pre-existing biases (be it through reviews etc.) happens to all of us, I expect that the movie is going to be politically neutral and focus on the human element, I wouldn't think poorly of it if it does.

I haven't seen the film, I shouldn't make my mind up about it. I have seen CAIR and it's links to Islamist groups as well as advocacy to expand hate speech laws to cover religious belief and have a pretty set picture of what it represents.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:01 AM   #12
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Did anyone see it? It tanked at the box office (10th place, 4 million). I think they made a major mistake releasing it in the summer. That is a fall or winter movie.

As a documentary of what went on and what Mariane went through, a small fraction of that, it is good and powerful. But you are left wanting to know so much more-about Daniel Pearl and about their relationship and about the backstory. It just seems like too much of that was left out in the effort to make it a straightforward documentary. I thought Angelina gave a very credible performance.

I don't know anything about what CAIR has said about it, never heard of it. It's definitely not some political rail against all Muslims and all Muslims are terrorists. You can see how the people in Pakistan who happened to be Muslim helped her-and it does show the one general using torture to try to get information about Daniel before he was killed.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:51 AM   #13
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Did anyone see it? It tanked at the box office (10th place, 4 million). I think they made a major mistake releasing it in the summer. That is a fall or winter movie.


i agree, but it was on less than 1500 screens, i think. so it might have legs if word-of-mouth is good.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:58 AM   #14
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i agree, but it was on less than 1500 screens, i think. so it might have legs if word-of-mouth is good.
I looked it up

"1,355 screens. But the real gauge here is its per screen average, which was extremely low, indicating weak interest in this well-reviewed pic despite a ton of publicity featuring tabloid-favorite Jolie. I believe releasing it this blockbuster-crowded summer, even as counter-programming, was a dumb move. September would have been a better time"

Hey I figured that out all on my own, I should work in Hollywood I think too many people who are moviegoers would rather see something like Evan Almighty, not that there isn't a place for both. I'm not a movie snob, but I have zero interest in seeing that and I won't.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:49 AM   #15
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instead of this movie, i saw "Knocked Up" this weekend and loved it.

it's also such a bummer of a movie, and we know the ending. the appeal of it is Angelina.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:02 PM   #16
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Haven't seen it yet, but a word of caution:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...062201673.html

Quote:
A Mighty Shame
It's the Story of Our Search for Danny Pearl. But in This Movie, He's Nowhere to Be Found.

By Asra Q. Nomani
Sunday, June 24, 2007; B01

O n Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2002, I stood at the gate of my rented house in Karachi, watching my friend Danny Pearl juggle a notebook, cellphone and earpiece as he bounded over to a taxicab idling in the street. He was off to try to find the alleged al-Qaeda handler of "shoe bomber" Richard Reid in Pakistan. "Good luck, dude," I called, waving cheerfully as he strode off, a lopsided grin on his face. His pregnant wife, Mariane, stood smiling and waving beside me as the taxi pulled away. A gaggle of parrots swooped through the trees above, squawking in the late afternoon sun.

That was the last image I had of Danny until late last month, when a PR executive for Paramount Vantage pulled up to my house in Morgantown, W.Va., in a black Lincoln Town Car. She was carrying a DVD of "A Mighty Heart," the just-released movie, based on the book by Mariane Pearl, about the staggering events that unfolded after that innocuous moment in Pakistan: Danny's kidnapping and eventual beheading.

With my parents and a friend beside me, I pressed "play" on my DVD player and settled in to watch. Slowly, as the scenes ticked by, my heart sank. I could live with having been reduced from a colleague of Danny's to a "charming assistant" to Mariane, as one review put it, and even with having been cut out of the scene in front of my house in Pakistan. That's the creative license Hollywood takes. What I couldn't accept was that Danny himself had been cut from his own story.

The character I saw on the screen was flat -- nerdy, bland and boring. He's not at all like Danny, who wrote "ditties" about Osama bin Laden while he was investigating Pakistan's nuclear secrets and jihadist groups as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. On screen, he's warned three times to meet with Sheik Mubarik Ali Gilani -- the man with whom he thought he had an interview -- only in public. But off he goes, ignoring the warnings. The message: Reckless journalist.

That was nothing like the Danny I knew. As the credits rolled, I murmured to my mother, "Danny had a cameo in his own murder."

For me, watching the movie was like having people enter my home, rearrange the furniture and reprogram my memory. I'd known it was a gamble when I agreed to help with a Hollywood version of Danny's kidnapping, but I'd done it because I thought the movie had the potential to be meaningful. I'd hoped it could honor the man I'd worked alongside for nine years at the Journal by explaining why he was so passionate about his work as a reporter. I'd hoped that it would tell the story of the unique team of law enforcement agents, government officials and journalists -- of varying religions, nationalities and cultures -- that had searched for him. And I hoped it could spark a search for the truth behind Danny's death.

But the moviemakers and their PR machine seemed intent on two very different and much shallower goals: creating a mega-star vehicle for Angelina Jolie, who plays Mariane, and promoting the glib and cliched idea that both Danny and Mariane were "ordinary heroes."

I think Danny would have rolled his eyes at that.

In the prologue to her book, Mariane wrote to her son: "I write this book for you, Adam, so you know that your father was not a hero but an ordinary man." In a movie voiceover, that dedication becomes: "This film is for our son so he knows that his father was an ordinary man. An ordinary hero."

But there weren't any real heroes in the story of Danny's tragedy. Danny would have said he was just doing his job. When he went off that day in Karachi, he didn't give any impression that he thought what he was doing was especially dangerous. He just had a story he wanted to pursue and an interview he thought would help him. After he vanished, I don't think any of us, not even Mariane, did anything particularly courageous, either. We each had a duty to try to find him -- either as professionals or because of the bonds of friendship or family.

I know that movies need a dramatic arc and that there has to be room for artistic license in the telling of a true story, because reality is often so chaotic. I know that it's natural to search for a compelling narrative structure to make sense of tragedy and pointlessness. And I do believe that Danny's last moments, as he declared his Jewishness for his kidnappers' video camera, showed his strength of character.

But recasting a story just so we can tell ourselves that we've found a hero is too easy. It's the quickest way to convince ourselves that what happened wasn't such a bad thing, that it had redeeming value, that we can close the book on it and move on with our lives. We do it too often -- with television shows about ordinary people with extraordinary powers, with magazine features that extol the "heroes among us" and with our impulse to elevate every story -- think Jessica Lynch, ambushed and wounded in Iraq -- to one of heroism.

For me, "A Mighty Heart" and all the hype surrounding it have only underscored how cheap and manufactured our quest for heroism has become. Paramount even launched an "ordinary hero" contest to promote the movie. "Nominate the most inspiring ordinary hero," its Web site shouts. "Win a trip to the Bahamas!"

Lost in the PR machine and the heroism hoopla is Danny, whose death is at the center of the story. After all, as one person involved in the production candidly told me: Danny can't do interviews. So in the Associated Press review, he amounts to nothing more than a parenthetical phrase.

But Danny was not parenthetical. He deserves to be remembered fully. He was charming and charismatic. He was an outstanding investigative reporter with an irreverent streak. The year before he died, I'd taken a leave from the Journal to work on a book, and he faxed me an article from an Indian magazine that he thought would help with my research. "From your assistant, Danny," he scrawled across the cover sheet, in his self-deprecating style.

He observed the media machine with a contrarian, skeptical eye. In November 2001, after the war in Afghanistan had begun, he wrote to me: "I'm getting to Pakistan just in time for the lull between 'well, more bombings, more deaths -- who cares now?' and 'shit, it's December, we have to round out our prize packages' " with big articles for awards such as the Pulitzers. "Okay, no more cynicism from here," he signed off. "I'm going to be a father and must maintain an idyllic view of the world."

Danny had me teach him how to say "Do I look like a fool?" in Urdu so he could tell off Mumbai taxi drivers who tried to overcharge him. Once, shortly after arriving in Peshawar on an assignment, he wrote me: "I'm at the Pearl Continental, wasn't able to get a free room despite my argument that I was the owner."

Don't look for that personality in the movie. You won't find it.

I know I'm guilty of assisting in Hollywood's mythmaking. In the fall of 2003, I went with Mariane to the Los Angeles home of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, where we ate bagels and drank coffee by the pool while listening to their pitch for buying the movie rights to her book. When Mariane decided to sell, Warner Bros. Pictures sought my "life rights," too. I agreed to sell them, even though a friend told me that making a movie about Danny's death seemed exploitative.

A year passed. Pitt and Aniston got a divorce. Pitt and Jolie got together. The movie rights passed to Paramount Vantage. Paramount hired British director Michael Winterbottom. And a script emerged.

When I read it last summer, I felt as though I'd been punched in the gut. I sat across from British actress Archie Panjabi, who had been dispatched to my home in Morgantown to learn to play me. I lamented that none of the characters were fully developed, least of all Danny.

When I watched the movie last month, I was relieved that I wasn't a servant girl, as I felt an early script had it. So I wrote to a producer, "Thumbs up okay on my end." But I wasn't being true to myself. I was reacting to the power and seduction of Hollywood.

A few days later, when I saw the photos of stars in evening gowns and tuxedos floating down the red carpet for the Cannes premiere of "A Mighty Heart," Danny's not-quite-5-year-old son among them, I had that sinking feeling again. Other friends of Danny's said they did, too. It was so not Danny.

Worst of all, the pomp came at the same time as a chilling reminder of his death. On the night of the Cannes premiere, the Daily Times, a Pakistani newspaper, ran a photo of an emaciated man said to have been the owner of the plot of land where Danny had been held and where his remains had been buried. The accompanying story alleged that the man had been held in the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, then released to Pakistani intelligence authorities, who had recently dumped him at his family's home. The headline: "Most wanted man in Daniel Pearl case: Saud Memon dies."

On the eve of the movie's New York premiere earlier this month, I was in Phoenix at the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference. I was there to announce the establishment of the Pearl Project, a joint faculty-student investigative reporting project at Georgetown University that will aim to find out who really killed Danny and why. It's my own way of honoring him. His story isn't over for me. I set up the project because -- despite a confession from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11 and of Richard Reid's failed shoe-bombing, that he killed Danny -- I believe we still don't know the real truth behind what happened to him.

After the conference, I had to decide whether to go to New York for the premiere or head back home. I went home. In my home office, I stood in front of a copy of the chart I had started in Karachi to make sense of everything that happened after that January day in 2002. At the center is a single name: Danny.

pearlproject@georgetown.edu

Asra Q. Nomani teaches journalism in Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:11 PM   #17
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That's it exactly. It's as if he never even existed long before he didn't actually exist anymore. I wanted to know who he really was.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:18 PM   #18
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going to see it tonight. Will report back with my thoughts.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:15 AM   #19
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Look forward to reading your thoughts

Just thought this was interesting, from time.com

Thursday, Jun. 21, 2007
10 Questions for Mariane Pearl

Five years ago, extremists murdered her journalist husband Daniel in Pakistan. Now, Angelina Jolie portrays her in the new film A Mighty Heart, based on her tragic love tale. Mariane Pearl will now take your questions

How did your purpose in life change after your husband's tragic death? —Natasha Landkamar, PARIS

I think the point is that it hasn't changed. That is my main achievement. Things like that happen to you, and the people that hurt you expect it to change your purpose. Part of my "revenge" was that my purpose wouldn't change--not how I live, the work that I do or my approach to the world.

Do you think your husband's sacrifice was worth it? —Dinh Quynh Anh, VIETNAM

I don't think you can talk in terms of "worth it." His will and his choice was to become a journalist and a writer. And I think every person who dedicates his or her life to something that belongs to the greater good is very meaningful.

What is the most important thing that your son Adam should know about his father? —Sami Ith, GARDEN GROVE, CALIF.

One really important thing for me is that he has a sense of who his father was as a person--his sense of humor and the kind of friend, husband and son that he was. That is the most beautiful heritage that Adam can have.

Do you regret demanding compensation from the 9/11 fund for your husband's death? —Juana Suarez, MEXICO CITY

I was thinking of Adam. When I knew that the people who were involved in 9/11 were also involved in Danny's case, I wanted him to join a moment in history. I thought maybe it would help him to be part of a group. That is why I did it. It really wasn't about money. Any money that comes as a result of this is for my son.

Given that Daniel died in Pakistan, what do you think about President Pervez Musharraf? —Dave Smith, ATLANTA

My view about him and politics is that I just don't trust anyone. He does not have as much power as we think, and I have never thought that any [help] would come from the Pakistani government.

Has it been difficult to maintain your objectivity as a journalist? —Dale Worsham, SAN ANTONIO

No, I haven't lost my objectivity. I don't think I have become a more fearful person or even more suspicious. I just finished a series of profiles of women around the world--all with different issues--to show that in the world there are incredible individuals we should focus on. It is something that even al-Qaeda hasn't taken away from me.

Has your view of Islam changed? —Budi Primawan, JAKARTA

No, it hasn't changed at all. I grew up with Muslim people, so I was very acquainted with Islam. So it is not like the people who killed Danny taught me what Islam was about. They are hijackers of their own faith.

Do you still practice Buddhism? If so, how has it helped you? —Maike Lehmann KONIGSFELD, GERMANY

I have been chanting for 24 years. It has brought me a lot of strength and wisdom in the sense that even in the most dire times, I didn't get lost. I knew that if I wanted to survive, it wasn't about healing or trying to forget. It was about how I could use my life to answer what had happened to us. In many ways, it saved my life.

As a woman of color, how do you feel about being played by Angelina Jolie in the movie? —Dharma Kemp-Bresett, NASHUA, N.H.

I have heard some criticism about her casting, but it is not about the color of your skin. It is about who you are. I asked her to play the role--even though she is way more beautiful than I am--because I felt a real kinship to her. She put her whole heart into it, and I think she understood why we should do this movie. We had something to say that we knew we should say together.

Did Angelina master your French accent? :-) —Rhonda Phillips, ATLANTA

[Laughs.] She suffered. She told me she loves me, but it was a very difficult task. She told me I didn't only have a French accent but I had a Cuban accent too. We joke about it.



Your book detailed the horror that both you and your husband endured at the hands of fanatics. How do you maintain a semblance of hope for the future of our world in the face of such hatred and inhumanity? I admire your courage. —Shauna Rockson, Palo Alto, California

It was an act of resistance. I was really determined to deny those people what they were trying to achieve. I couldn't save Danny, but I knew that if I lost hope, then they would achieve what they wanted.

It is well known that you have a great love for the Pakistani people. Has that love changed? —Adrienne Garr, Buffalo, NY

Not at all. I look at the world in a very simple way. For me the nationality and the religion is really a secondary matter. For me, it is all a matter of human behavior and how people behave. The people who I truly love in Pakistan are the most noble, powerful and deep people that I have ever met in my life. At times like that you encounter the worst human behavior possible, so you are also going to be very sensitive to the best human behavior possible. And I think that is true in every war actually.

How do you find the strength to forgive? Do you forgive the extremists that killed your husband? —Poulomi Harolikar, Bangalore, India

I wouldn't use forgiveness. I don't think I do deep down, to be honest, but I don't think it is a point for me either. As I said, forgiveness wouldn't be enough for me to survive this. I have no reason to forgive people that acted willingly in a very clear, cold way. For me, forgiveness is not enough.

What do you think should be the legacy of Daniel Pearl? —Jodi-Ann Lyons, Albany, New York

I think it should be us. I think it should be Adam and I and what we are going to do in the world and how we are going to live our lives and how we are going to maintain the spirits of our family in the future.

Do you approve of the war in Iraq? Is it right? Has it not created more terrorism? —Rajesh Gulati, Baltimore

No I don't approve of the war in Iraq. I think like everyone else, I feel the US entered Iraq without really knowing where they where going. It wasn't clear for anyone why we staged that war. Obviously the situation in Iraq is really dreadful for everyone. Clearly we haven't achieved anything. It is a totally useless disaster.

Now that the movie is over, what will you devote your time to? —Jie Yang, Lafayette, CA

It has been a long ride. It has been five years of real fighting. It has been a lot of exercising self-control and determination day after day. I haven't had enough time to make a transition. I have always been working. I haven't been living for this movie and it is not my movie. I have a lot of journalistic projects that I want to purse that I have already started and I will keep doing my work.

My daughter's brother-in-law was critically wounded by sniper fire in Iraq and he is fighting for his life. Do you feel that your husband received enough support from the US government? —Karen M. Shields, Wilmington, Delaware

Despite what maybe people have heard, I don't think we don't have all the answer yet. It is a very complex situation and at the hub of geopolitics nowadays. I don't think I have the answer to that question.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:01 PM   #20
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I saw A Mighty Heart last night.

I would say it's good. Not great. But good.

Definitely a documentary feel--almost to the point that it was a little slow in spots. It felt very real, very authentic, and I think they were successful in keeping it objective and non-partisan.

I have little to say about the movie per se and more to say about Asra Nomani's article as it relates to what I saw in the film. Before I saw the movie I sensed from her article that perhaps she was a little too close to the situation to view the film objectively. I wondered if any film would be "good enough"or feel "right" to someone who has experienced this painful loss "up close and personal." Being close to the situation doesn't always make one more accurate in assessing an event and it's significance and in fact can make one less so.

AFTER seeing the film, I went back and reread Nomani's article and I saw things a little differently. I disagreed with Nomani's assertion that Daniel Pearl was portrayed as reckless or as a hero. He looks like a reporter who wants to get his story but not necessarily like one who intends to throw caution to the wind. And at least to me he very much came off as an ordinary guy. I also disagreed with her implication that film failed to show the many people of different cultures, nationalities, religions etc working to find him.

I agree that Daniel Pearl really wasn't central to this film--and in that sense I think Nomani really was looking for a different film, one that would have told the story of his life and ended with him riding away in the taxi cab on that fateful day. If anything, Marianne Pearl was the one the movie seemed to be "about" (to the extent that some of the people who saw the film with me initially assumed the title of the movie referred to her). And on reading Nomani's article for the second time, I began to sense an undercurrent of resentment towards Marianne. When she talks about the movie premiere and the presence of "the not-quite-five-year old" son of Daniel, it's glaringly obvious that the kid is not there by himself and that attending the premiere was a kind of betrayal as for as Nomani was concerned.

Nomani reveals, perhaps unintentionally, that a lot of her displeasure with the film may have to do with the failure of film to properly represent her or her importance to the story, though I thought she was hardly relegated to a sidekick in my opinon.

Bottom line: This movie is really about Marianne. It glorifies and heroizes her, which is not to say that she is underserving of acknowledgemebt for her strength and fortitude nor necessarily that such acknowlegdment comes at the expense of her husband--after all in this story, out of necessity, Daniel Pearl is already out of the picture. That this movie focuses on Marianne rather than Daniel may be what Nomani actually has a problem with.
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