The emergence of artist Julian Schnabel as a mythical figure was a phenomenon of the modern art world in the 1980s. Once considered the bad boy of the New York art scene, Schnabel seemed to rise to prominence from nowhere. Exploring other creative outlets, Schnabel turned to film making in the 1990s. He co-wrote and directed the 1996 feature film Basquiat about another famous artist from the 1980s. With his next film, Schnabel told the story of another creative visionary, the Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas, in Before Night Falls (2000) starring Javier Bardem in the lead role. Both Schnabel and Bardem earned much critical acclaim for the film. In his next cinematic effort, Schnabel directed a film about the challenging true-life story The Diving Bell and the Butterfly which received several awards for his work on the film, including the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe Award. Based on that resume alone, it’s hard to believe that the talented artist could make a bad movie, but apparently the reviews that have poured in for his latest film Miral are extremely negative. I guess we will have to be the judge for ourselves. In the meantime here is the trailer and plot synopsis:
From Julian Schnabel, Academy Award© nominated director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Before Night Falls and Basquiat, comes Miral, the story of four women whose lives intertwine in the starkly human search for justice, hope and reconciliation amid a world overshadowed by conflict, rage and war. The story begins in war-torn Jerusalem in 1948 when Hind Husseini (The Visitor, Amreeka) opens an orphanage for refugee children that quickly becomes home to 2000 orphans. One of the children is seventeen year old Miral (FRIEDA PINTO, Slumdog Millionaire) who arrived at the orphanage 10 years earlier, following her mother’s tragic death. On the cusp of the Intifada resistance, Miral is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she falls for a fervent political activist, Hani ( Munich, Rendition) and finds herself in a personal battle that mirrors the greater dilemma around her: to fight like those before her or follow Mama Hind’s defiant belief that education will pave a road to peace.