Jolie, Pitt get emotional as they unveil Daniel Pearl film

21st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, May 21, 2007 (AFP) - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt gave an emotional news conference Monday about love and family as they premiered their new film about the murder of US reporter Daniel Pearl by Islamic extremists.

CANNES, France, May 21, 2007 (AFP) - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt gave an emotional news conference Monday about love and family as they premiered their new film about the murder of US reporter Daniel Pearl by Islamic extremists.

"A Mighty Heart" starring Jolie, produced by Pitt and directed by Britain's Michael Winterbottom was warmly applauded at a packed press screening, with some critics saying it was the actress' best work since she won an Oscar for "Girl, Interrupted" in 2000.

The Hollywood A-list couple were joined in Cannes by Pearl's widow Mariane, whose book on her husband's murder when researching terrorist networks in Pakistan in 2002 is the basis of the gripping film.

Jolie, 31, said she was at about the same point in her pregnancy with Pitt's child when she began work on the film that Pearl had reached when she went through her husband's kidnapping and subsequent beheading.

"I remember being six months pregnant and thinking 'I can't imagine at this time not having the father with me and being concerned about his life and trying to eat and trying to remember to get some sleep'," she said.

"So as a woman it just made me so much more connected to (Mariane) and aware of her and also knowing that carrying that life inside, that little boy that's half Danny that is so so amazing and her love -- I'm sure there couldn't also have been a greater gift at that time to help pull her through something like that."

Pitt, 43, said that starting a family with Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, had pushed him to work that mattered to him.

"As a father, too, I look at my kids and realise that they will inherit this world and I know this is true for Mariane as well and we want to do everything we can to throw our weight in and make it a little bit better," he said.

Pitt, who is also in Cannes for the premiere of his all-star caper "Ocean's Thirteen" on Thursday, said he had been inspired by Mariane's courage and empathy for other terror victims.

"The strength of Mariane through this situation -- for me it was an epiphany. As Angie said, she had every reason to come out of this embittered and angry and full of hatred and instead has shown us another way," he said.

"The way she combatted this, I find incredibly impressive. It lights the way for me."

Hollywood's golden couple also gently teased each other during the press conference.

When Pitt was asked to follow up on Jolie's remarks about religious conflict and reconciliation, the distracted actor apologised with a laugh: "I was wafting in the words of...what's her name."

Pearl said she had developed a friendship with Jolie and Pitt and was very pleased with the film.
 
"We've grown quite close," Pearl said. "I think of my son who will one day see this film -- it was a great moment of pain but it is addressed (in the film) by someone who loves me and that means a lot to me."

Winterbottom said he saw the film as a continuation of themes covered in his 2006 feature "Road to Guantanamo," a docu-drama about three British citizens held at the US lockup in Cuba for several months without charge.

But he dismissed a reporter's question about whether his sympathy for the former Guantanamo inmates meant he empathised with Pearl's killers.

"They were in a sense caught up in the sort of post-9/11 conflict in the same way that Danny and Mariane were I think," he said. "Of course it's completely wrong...but it is part of the same situation."

"A Mighty Heart" is screening out of competition at the festival, which runs until Sunday.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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