Release dates are still being finalized with distributors but hopefully some solid news will be out soon. In the meantime, check out the trailer.
Dilip, a rickshaw driver in Bhopal, India, lands himself a job at the Union Carbide plant. It is a chance to prove his worth to his family and pull them out of poverty. The job is tough with long hours; everyone is desperate to hold on to their pay cheque and so Dilip keeps quiet when he notices managers at the plant ignoring safety standards.
Dilip’s long time friend, Motwani, a tabloid journalist knows that Bhopal residents complain of the constant stench in the air and wake up at night choking from the gas. He is on a mission to expose what he believes is a deadly time bomb ticking away in his home town. He feels as if no one will listen but when he meets feisty American journalist, Eva, he sees a ray of hope and persuades her to confront Carbide executive Warren Anderson.
As Eva and Motwani endeavour to delve deeper into Carbide’s activities, Dilip is using every resource necessary to pay and plan for his sister’s wedding. When the wedding night arrives the family are full of joy and celebration as two families
join together as one. But as the music plays an invisible catastrophe is working its way throughout the town and wedding party. One by one the guests start to feel unwell the largest tower at the Carbide plant spews poisonous gas into the night air; one by one they collapse; and one by one they unknowingly become a statistic in the world’s largest chemical disaster to date.
Nearly thirty years later as the plant stands as a ghost-like constant reminder, the water in Bhopal is still contaminated and one person a day dies as a direct result of the tragedy, Eva visits the now retired Anderson. Will he finally bow down and apologise? Or will he continue to deny that Carbide had any part to play…?
Check out this amazing preview/trailer shared by the second unit cinematographer Øystein Essén Lundstrøm of Mischa’s upcoming film Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain. This film also stars Martin Sheen and Kal Penn and is inspired by the devastating Bhopal gas tragedy which is still affecting people to this day.
It’s unfortunately not letting me embed the video, so visit http://vimeo.com/47712527 to view
Martin Sheen and Mischa Barton’s ‘Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain’, that was shot partly in the city, may release next year
Ravi Kumar, the director of “Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain” was inspired by “many wonderful books and documentaries” on the Bhopal gas tragedy when he decided to make a feature film on it. In 2009, Kumar got US actors Martin Sheen and Mischa Barton on board for the movie, through which he wanted to tell the story of “corporate greed and the hypocrisy of multinationals in dealing with the third world”. He says it was relatively easy to convince the renowned actors to be part of the project since they responded well to this universal theme.
Kumar shot with Sheen, Barton, Indian actress Tannishtha Chatterjee and several others at that time, and since he had to re-create the 1984 period of Bhopal, he shot the film in Hyderabad and Mumbai on sets and factory locations, and only a few critical scenes were shot in Bhopal. The “life-changing” experience was like a roller coaster ride for the director, who says that three years after the first shot, he is finally reaching the “end of this long journey”.
He told us recently, “We have been invited to some major film festivals where it will be premiered. The release dates will be decided by the distributor all over the world according to their plans.”
However, after the shoot, the director had come under attack from some local NGOs, which claimed that the movie was misrepresenting reality. But ask him about it now, and he says, “For us, there are no issues. The script that they objected to, is not relevant as it was an older version. You have to remember, 95 per cent of the film, crew and cast is Indian, our producer Ravi Walia is Indian… hundreds of them came on board as they believed in the script. Anyone who has seen the rough edit is proud to be associated with this epic and moving story made by Indians.” As far as the delay in the release is concerned (from 2010 to tentatively 2012), he says, “The film has been edited carefully, some scenes re-shot, as this is a historical document and people expect the story to be authentic and genuine. It’s been worthwhile fine-tuning the story as this kind of films have a long shelf life. ”
Right now, the film is with some very senior editors, and music composers from London and LA are working on it, says Kumar. While he does admit that the whole journey of making the movie has been difficult, he adds, “This is not a commercial project, but I’m glad to say that the finished film feels more suited for mainstream audience worldwide, thanks to the universal theme and the US actors playing crucial roles.”
Hollywood stars Martin Sheen and Mischa Barton’s upcoming film, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, based on the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, has come under severe attack from NGOs and campaigners for several reasons.
Sheen plays Warren Anderson, the then chief executive of Union Carbide, while Barton plays Eva Gascon, a journalist of the magazine, Paris Match. Although the film has been kept under wraps, reports suggest it ends with an imagined present-day meeting between an unrepentant Anderson and a remorseful Gascon at the former’s country club in the US.
Director Ravi Kumar was unavailable for a comment. However, Rachna Dhingra of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal says the movie “shows the US-based Union Carbide Corporation management as pure saints”. She adds that they have been in constant touch with Sheen. “Initially, Kumar was in touch but once we started raising objections, he vanished. Sheen has expressed solidarity with us over the issue.”
“Kumar’s film shows Union Carbide’s Indian subsidiary Union Carbide India Limited was responsible for the tragedy while Anderson goes scot-free. Several respected people such as senior journalist Raj Kumar Keswani are depicted in an objectionable manner,” says Dhingra, adding they want the makers to re-shoot a small portion. “They haven’t responded yet. If our concerns aren’t dealt with, we won’t let the film open.”
Satinath Sarangi, managing trustee of Bhopal-based Sambhavna Clinic, which has been helping the victims over the years, says, “Ravi Kumar was constantly in touch with us initially but he suddenly stopped communicating. We are going to shoot off letters to all cast members including Barton and Sheen, who will pay heed to our objections because he has been involved with several causes around the world.” Actor Tannishtha Chatterjee, who plays Leela in the film, says, “I am an Indian so I will never be part of any film that’s insensitive to such a subject.”
The film is likely to release later this year.
Candids of Mischa grabbing take out at Izakaya and heading to a friend’s house in a cab have been added. Also added a little still from Bhopal with thanks to Maz!
A new article has recently been published with Bhopal film-maker Ravi Kumar. The article talks about several elements of the movie including possible release date time frames, premiere ideas, storyline and general conceptual chit chatter. Its a very interesting read for those of us looking forward to seeing Mischa in this film
London-based Ravi Kumar revisits the tragedy of the gas leak in his new film
In his apartment in London, film-maker Ravi Kumar sat glued to the television as the kickers revealed the verdict on the Bhopal tragedy. “We are very disappointed and shocked at hearing the lenient verdict given to the staff of Union Carbide. The US bosses of Union Carbide have not even been prosecuted. This is not a good precedent for future cases,” says Kumar via email. He is still seething in anger about the Bhopal High Court’s decision to acquit former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, but there are pressing matters at hand — Kumar is in final stages of post-production work of his film, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain.
The film, made on a US $12 million (approx. Rs 55 crores) budget, dramatises the events leading up to the tragedy on the night of December 3, 1986, when plumes of toxic MIC gas leaked from the Union Carbide factory, killing and maiming thousands. The film, with an international cast of Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton and Kal Penn from Hollywood , and Rajpal Yadav, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Akhil Mishra from India, will be ready for release in December.
“We want to premier the film on the 26th anniversary of the disaster but, being an international film, the release dates will be decided by individual distributors,” adds 39-year-old Kumar, who has co-written the script with British scriptwriter David Brooks Miller.
Kumar, a virtually unknown filmmaker despite three previous films, is also a trained pediatrician. He was born and raised in Bhopal but settled in London many years ago. He made his first short film in 1999.
Source: Indian Express
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