Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
On January 23, 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is to fly from Karachi to Dubai with his pregnant wife, Mariane, also a reporter. On the day before, with great care, he has arranged an interview in a café with an Islamic fundamentalist cleric. When Danny doesn't return, Mariane initiates a search. Pakistani police, American embassy personnel, and the FBI examine witnesses, phone records, e-mails, and hard drives. Who has him? Where is he? There's also the why: because of U.S. abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo, because of a history of Journal cooperation with the CIA, because Pearl is a Jew? Through it all, Mariane is clearheaded, direct, and determined. Written by
After Angelina Jolie was cast as Mariane Pearl, she and the filmmakers came in for a great deal of criticism, since Pearl's and Jolie's racial backgrounds are not similar, and Jolie played the role wearing makeup that somewhat darkened her own skin tone. The casting reminded many critics of the time in Hollywood when it was customary to cast "ethnic" roles with white actors in makeup rather than using black, Asian, or Native American actors. During a promotional press event for the movie, Jolie responded to the criticisms by saying, "the idea is, if you ask Marianne, because she did address that... if you did actually want to find somebody that was her exact makeup, she's actually majority Dutch, and she's as black as she is Chinese, and she's Cuban, and she's French. So, it could have gone to many different racial backgrounds, probably, if you went technical on it." Pearl herself approved of casting Jolie; in Time Magazine, Pearl said, "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." See more »
There is a travel prayer note hanging on the rear-view mirror of the taxi in which Danny goes to the Village Restaurant in January 2002. The note has a branding of "GMSA Glue", which was not launched until mid of 2004. See more »
The day after 9-11, Danny and I flew to Pakistan. He was the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, and I was working for French Public Radio. Thousands of journalist from all over the world arrived in Islamabad to cover the war in neighboring Afghanistan. On the 7th October, bombing began.
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Angelina Jolie is not just a beautiful woman and the daughter of actor Jon Voight, she is also an incredibly versatile actress. This Oscar-winning beauty is one of those few who is just as comfortable starring in big blockbusters as in emotional dramas. She takes every part very seriously.
Jolie is close friends with Mariane Pearl, the journalist wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (played by Dan Futterman). She is the author of "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl" (on which the film is based) and wanted the actress to portray her. Because Angelina Jolie is a true method-actress
she added dark ringlets, a pregnancy bump and speaks with Pearl's
Cuban-French accent. The outcome is simply outstanding! It's about as genuine as any acting performance can get. It's obvious that Jolie didn't want to settle for anything less. She has the utmost respect for Mariane Pearl and the tragedy she went through. And she wanted to translate this amount of respect into her acting.
The amazing thing about this semi-documentary film is that it manages to keep such a hopeful spirit even though we are already aware of what lies ahead. Reporter Danny Pearl is going to die by the hands of Pakistani extremists yet somehow we still keep the faith. On top of that: a good deal of the movie is shot with a hand-held camera and this technique builds the tension especially during the torture/interrogation scenes. It almost feels as though we are present during the entire ordeal. When the terrible news finally comes out that Mariane's husband has been slaughtered mercilessly, the screaming of Angelina Jolie is so realistic and painful that it brought instant tears to my eyes.
In short: A beautiful homage to a horrifying true story with a terrific Angelina Jolie.
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