Libyan occupation film to star Hollywood A-listers

Syrian TV director Nagdat Al-Anzour has announced his most ambitious project yet -- a movie adaptation of a book by Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi about the Italian occupation of Libya that is packed with Hollywood A-listers.

Libyan occupation film to star Hollywood A-listers
The film – entitled Oppression: Years of Torment – will star Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Spacey, Ben Kinsley, and Omar Sharif in the lead roles, Anzour told AFP news agency.

The 50-million dollar movie is funded by the Libyan government through overseas Libyan investment companies, he said.

Anzour said Gaddafi wrote the story as a draft script and not as a literary work, and added that he submitted three scripts to the Libyan leader before getting the final approval.

"Gaddafi wanted to present the suffering of the Libyan people through documented facts and not in the form of dramatic propaganda," he said.

According to the director, the film will focus on the Libyan tragedy through eyewitnesses like British war correspondent Francis McCool – to be played by Anthony Hopkins – who later wrote a book about the era and a German archeologist who was in Libya at the time.

Anzour said Ben Kinsley, famous for his Oscar-winning Gandhi role, will play Nashaat Pasha, the commander of the Tripoli garrison during the Ottoman rule before the Italian invasion. Egyptian actor Omar Sharif will play the national Libyan hero Omar Mukhtar, he added.

The movie will be filmed in Libya and the Italian islands to which Libyan freedom fighters were exiled during the occupation, which lasted from 1911 to 1943. Filming should start in March 2008 and is expected to hit movie theatres by November, Anzour said.

Anzour, the son of the director of the first Syrian silent film and famous for directing TV serials, said the film marks a new beginning for him in cinematic work and that he would never go back to TV.

In 1981, another Syrian director, Moustapha Akkad, presented the painful story of the Italian colonialism in Libya in "Lion of the Desert," but the movie was never distributed in Italy.

Al Arabiya

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Kasım 2007, 18:17