Julian Schnabel,who directed the wonderful Oscar nominated film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” will be directing a new film called “Miral”. What’s interesting is that “Miral” is based on a book of the same name written by Palestinian-Italian Rula Jebreal who also co-wrote the script. Apparently, Jebreal, who lives in Italy, is a hugely popular broadcaster there and is outspoken on immigration and foreign affairs. I’m surprised I’ve never heard of her. The book is about Hind Husseini who attempts to open an orphanage (Dar El-Tifl), and eventually does, in Jerusalem after the war in 1948 and the struggles thereafter.
While I commend Schnabel for making this film ” to fix things over there . . . and make things better over there”, I think it’ll take a lot more than a film to do that. However, it’ll be nice to see a film about a Palestinian woman who took matters into her own hands to help orphaned children. I hope that Schnabel won’t oversimplify the conflict in the process.
I do think this will be a promising movie. Not only is it directed by Schnabel but it will also star the incomparable Hiam Abbas (“The Visitor”, “Pomegranates and Myrrh”) who makes any movie she’s in better. Also starring in the film, and an interesting choice, is Freida Pinto. She’s become the new “it” girl after the success of “Slumdog Millionaire” (great movie, btw). I wish Pinto the best of luck because I don’t think she’ll be able to hold her own next to Abbass. Casting hasn’t been completed yet but I’m sure “Miral” will get a wide release due to who’s directing it and starring in it. Shooting for the film will begin next month in Israel and is scheduled to be released in 2010.