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Freida Pinto film ‘Miral’ a hard sell for Weinsteins

HollywoodNews.com: After wowing award season voters with his 2007 title “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” director Julian Schnabel’s “Miral” looks to stir some agita for the Weinstein Company.

The film is based on the director’s Palestinian girlfriend Rula Jebreal who is portrayed in the film by Freida Pinto. The Weinstein Co. have set a December 3 release for the message drama.

Here’s the problem: Not only did critics loathe the film at the Venice Film Festival, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (who is behind the Golden Globes), gave Harvey Weinstein a difficult time during a Q&A. Specifically, because the movie mogul has been known to be a supportive of Israel.

Says a Page Six source: “The real problem is the movie is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel and it is going to be very difficult to get American audiences excited to see it.”

Schnabel split from his Spanish wife, Olatz, mother of their twin 17-year-old boys, two years ago after meeting Jebreal. He was so entranced by Jebreal, the director decided to bring her 2004 novel about a beautiful Palestinian orphan’s life amid ethnic hatred and violence to the big screen.

“I felt it was my responsibility to [turn] Rula’s book into a film,” Schnabel told reporters at the Venice Film Festival, “And I thought that I would have something — coming from my background as an American Jewish person whose mother was the president of Hadassah in 1948 — I figured I was a pretty good person to tell the other side.”

Schnabel’s daughter, Stella, 27, also stars in the film. She plays a Jewish girl who falls for a Palestinian man.

Schnabel was nominated for a best directing Oscar for “Butterfly,” however, won the Golden Globe for that category.

pd

Photo Credit: Weinstein Co.

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