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Pro-Putin Russian director chosen for Hollywood epic Libyan rebels see ‘revolution’ flick in Bosnia

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina, July 4, (Agencies): More than a hundred Libyan rebels, sporting new suits, chartered a plane on Thursday to travel to the Sarajevo premiere of a documentary about their revolution.
The film “Tomorrow, Tripoli” follows the insurgents from the Libyan town of Zintan from the start of the uprising to the fall of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
French director Florent Marcie, who filmed the Zintan fighters for eight months, said the group immediately applied for Bosnian visas when he told them the film would premiere in Sarajevo. It was screened at the WARM festival, which is entirely dedicated to world conflicts.
“I did not finish my sentence and there were 10 people around me who said they want to come,” Marcie said. The word spread fast and initially 4,000 Zintanis wanted to come but in the end about 120 did.
The excited rebels recorded the 4-1/2 hour version of the movie with their smartphones until their batteries died. A shorter version will be shown to the public later.
Marcie said he made the movie to “to show the soul of a revolution.”

Mussa Dwaib, a rebel prominent in the film, said the men figured that if Marcie had the nerve to follow them through battle, the least they could do was get to Sarajevo.
“We struggled for freedom, we gained that freedom and now we are free people,” he said.
Another rebel, Ibrahim al-Madani, saw his father dying for the first time in the cinema Thursday since Marcie was the only one in the emergency room when it happened.
“My cousins also were fighting together against the Gadhafi troops and now they are not here,” he said. “It was really hard.”
Zintan is a small, traditional town of some 50,000 residents in north-western Libya, around 136 kilometers (85 miles) southwest of Tripoli. Residents formed a powerful militia, known for its battles with government soldiers.
Marcie told the AP he started following these fighters with his camera after a surprising chat with one of them about the works of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

Russian film director Fyodor Bondarchuk has been chosen for the big-budget Hollywood epic Odysseus, one of the film’s producers told AFP Thursday.
“Warner Bros chose Fyodor to direct Odysseus,” producer Michael Schlicht said. “It will be a huge spectacular epic.”
Virtually unknown in the West, 47-year-old Bondarchuk has directed a number of hugely expensive productions in Russia, including “Stalingrad”, the lavish WWII drama set around the famous battle.
Stalingrad was the first non-American film shot in Imax format and grossed a record $66 million. It was Russia’s official selection at the Academy Awards in 2013 but received mixed reviews.
He is also the son of Sergei Bondarchuk, whose monumental 1968 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic War and Peace was awarded both an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
Bondarchuk was one of Russia’s cultural figures who signed a public letter in support of President Vladimir Putin’s policy on neighbouring Ukraine ahead of Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March.
Schlicht said that the project is “trying to attract Russian specialists” and that Bondarchuk’s “great talent for visuals played a huge role in choosing him”.

The Czech Jewish community has criticised the Karlovy Vary film festival Thursday for its decision to hand its top honour to Mel Gibson, director of “The Passion of the Christ”.
The 58-year-old who shot to fame in the “Mad Max” and “Braveheart” blockbusters was due to receive the Crystal Globe for lifetime’s achievement at the Czech festival on Friday.
The reputation of the Hollywood A-lister has plunged since he was caught on tape making an anti-Semitic rant in 2006.
The Czech Federation of Jewish Communities said in a statement his 2004 movie depicting Jesus Christ’s final hours was “one of the most offensive movies ever shot”.
It accused the film of propagating “classic stereotypes” about Jews, claiming they were exclusively responsible for Jesus’s death and warned it could be used to “justify anti-Jewish hatred”.
Uljana Donatova, spokeswoman for the event held in the western spa city, said organisers respect the federation’s opinion.
“But we are only assessing Mel Gibson’s career as a filmmaker,” she told AFP.
The organisers of the 49th edition of the festival, which runs from Friday to July 12, will also award the Crystal Globe to US filmmaker William Friedkin, known for his thriller “The Exorcist”.
Last year nearly 130,000 cinemagoers attended the event.


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