Bollywood looks to make Saddam biopic
Saturday 30 April 2011
A Bollywood film is to be made about the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, a production company said on Thursday, as the lead actor praised him as a "hero" who stood up to the United States.
The movie, "From President To Prisoner", will begin shooting in September at a number of locations, including in Iraq itself, Glitterati Entertainment Solutions said in a statement.
Actor Akbar Khan, who has been lined up for the role of Saddam, said he was looking forward to playing the part, describing it as a "very challenging role".
"I consider him a hero who stood up and fought against the double standards of US foreign policy," he was quoted as saying by the Mumbai Mirror newspaper, which said the film would "portray the sunny side" of Saddam.
"(The) US used him as a tool. It's a great pleasure to be in his shoes, even if it is a film," Khan said.
India maintained warm ties with Saddam's regime during the Cold War and the government in New Delhi condemned his execution in 2006, three years after he was deposed in a US-led invasion.
Demonstrations also took place across India after he was hanged.
Hindi-language Bollywood is not the only one looking to Saddam for film inspiration.
In January, Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles said that British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of spoof characters Borat, Ali G and Bruno, was working on a film inspired by a novel written by Saddam himself.
Saddam has previously been portrayed on television, notably in the Emmy award-winning mini-series "House of Saddam" in 2008.
He has also been seen attempting to invade Canada and as Satan's lover in the satirical cartoon "South Park".
Bollywood has been exploring more contemporary themes in recent years, moving away from its traditional focus on romantic drama and song and dance.
One film, "Dear Friend Hitler", ran into controversy over claims that it glamourised the former Nazi leader, sparking protests from India's small Jewish community and forcing the withdrawal of actor Anupam Kher.
The producers, however, insisted that they were not glorifying Hitler but setting his story against that of Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent struggle for Indian independence from the British.
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