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.
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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Mumbai: Hollywood stars Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton and Kal Penn have been so touched by the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 that they have readily agreed to feature in a DVD expressing their thoughts on the tragedy.
This DVD is part of a Hollywood movie on the gas tragedy starring the trio. The shooting of the movie titled Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain was completed a few days before the verdict on the tragedy of 1984 was out.
A spokesperson of the production house says, “During the shooting,Martin, Mischa and Kal expressed their views on the gas leak as well as the tragedy. We are in the process of compiling those views for an exclusive DVD. We wantIndians to know what leading stars of Hollywood feel about the tragedy that caused such widespread attention across the planet.”
The official adds, “The inclusion of Kal (Kalpen Suresh Modi) in the DVD is expected to touch the hearts of Indians even more. Kal will immediately strike a chord with Indians because he has his roots in India. We are hoping people will watch the DVD as they would watch the movie. It’s an initiative that is close to the hearts of everyone.”
Check out this video from the Bhopal: Prayer for Rain set. The video features information and interviews dealing with the actual gas tragedy. Then towards the end both Mischa and Martin Sheen are interviewed about the film and we get a little glimpse at Mischa filming a scene. Thanks to Maz!
Movie accused of glossing over role of US company in Indian toxic gas disaster
A film starring top Hollywood actors that dramatises the Bhopal gas disaster has been criticised by campaigners and participants in the tragedy for misrepresenting individuals and the facts.
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is due for release this autumn with Mischa Barton and Martin Sheen in leading roles.
Shot largely in India, it portrays the events around the world’s worst industrial accident, in which clouds of toxic gas escaped from a chemical plant run by a part-owned subsidiary of American company Union Carbide.
More than 8,000 people, mainly living in slums around the plant, died immediately when the gas leaked shortly after midnight on 3 December 1984. At least 25,000 others are estimated to have died over subsequent years and many more continue to suffer today.
Ravi Kumar, the writer and director, said the film was “a dramatisation, inspired by real events.
“There are 18- and 19-year-olds across India and across the world who have never heard of Bhopal. I could have made a four-hour documentary that no one would have seen.
“This way a whole new generation will learn about what happened and a whole series of very important and relevant questions can be discussed,” said Kumar, a London-based paediatrician who has raised more than $5m from Indian private backers for the project.
Sheen plays Warren Anderson, the chief executive of Union Carbide, headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut. Barton plays Eva Gascon, a fictitious reporter from Paris-Match who learns of the problems at the plant from a local journalist but decides not to publish a story.
Click “read more” or visit Guradian.co.uk directly for the full story.
It could be the grandest Indian premiere for a Hollywood movie. Efforts are on to bring down Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton and Kal Penn to India for the premiere of Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain.
Directed by Ravi Kumar, the film is based on the tragedy in Bhopal that caused large number of deaths and permanent injuries. It was one of the deadliest gas leaks ever (Dec ‘84) and took place at a pesticide plant then owned and operated by Union Carbide.
Martin felt for the cause and that’s what propelled him to sign the movie and even play a controversial character. He plays the character of Warren Anderson, the former CEO of Union Carbide. Anderson is wanted by Indian authorities and the Interpol as he allegedly faces charges of culpable homicide.
In the movie Martin will be shown facing arrest and then fleeing the country by a private jet. Warren, who has been termed a fugitive by Indian courts, currently resides in New York. Reportedly, his yearly golf club membership is 3-4 times the average compensation for a survivor of the gas tragedy.
“The movie has been talked about a lot in the US. Now, the makers want the people of India to see the movie. The shooting took place in Bhopal, Hyderabad and Mumbai and so not having the cast here to promote the film doesn’t make sense. So efforts are on to bring them down,” says a source.
Actor Tannishtha Chatterjee is also part of the cast in this movie. She says, “Martin fell in love with India and he was very excited to see new places. There were instances when he shot with us for 18 hours a day. He’s a legend and he could have said that he won’t shoot but he was very cooperative. He will be more than happy to come to India again.”
DNA India (Thanks to Chris for the tip)
Goa may be on high alert this Christmas with revellers staying away from the ultimate party destination but for Hollywood hottie Mischa Barton, it’s still the place to be this festive season.
The actress is currently soaking up the sun in Goa and will be celebrating Christmas there with a bunch of close friends.
The OC actress who’s in the country shooting for Ravi Walia’s international film Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain — in which she plays a journalist — took a break from her hectic schedule to spend a week on the exotic beaches of Goa. The film being directed by Ravi Kumar is presently being shot in Hyderabad and also stars Hollywood’s veteran actor Martin Sheen and Kal Penn.
A source revealed, “She was very keen on spending her Christmas in Goa and had already requested the producer and the director to let her take a break there.
She was very excited about her visit.” Refusing to divulge any details about the sexy actress’ stay there, the source added, “She wants it to be a hush-hush affair due to security reasons. She was keen on visiting Mumbai as well, but her hectic schedule’s not leaving her any time for that.”
Source | Thanks Maz