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The Fabulous Picture Show
The Burning Plain
Oscar-winner Charlize Theron and director Guillermo Arriaga talk about their new film.
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2009 08:59 GMT

This week, Hollywood superstar Charlize Theron and Mexico's scriptwriter el grande Guillermo Arriaga join Al Jazeera's Amanda Palmer for a special screening of Arriaga's directorial debut, The Burning Plain.

Nandita Das

Das provides a glimpse into five families connected to the Gujarat riots [GALLO/GETTY]

Acclaimed Indian actor Nandita Das has never shied from controversial subjects - her repertoire includes playing a lesbian in Fire, a rape victim in Bawandar, a witch in Maati Maay and a maid in love with her married white master in Before the Rains.

Now she has directed her first film with an equally challenging subject: ethnic violence.

For her directorial debut, Das has delivered Firaaq, which is set in the aftermath of the 2002 ethnic violence between Hindus and Muslims that killed 2000 civilians in the Indian state of Gujarat.  

Das talks to Amanda Palmer about the challenges of going behind the camera, her continued commitment to women's rights, and producing films for her NGO, Leapfrog.

Johnny Mad Dog

 Johnny Mad Dog portrays the atrocities of Liberia's recent war and its child soldiers

French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire spent a year living with former child soldiers in Liberia to hear their stories and gain their trust before embarking on the first major feature to emerge from that country after decades of continual warfare.

The cast of his film is made up of these former child soldiers.

Johnny Mad Dog is a gut-wrenching and heartfelt look at what happens to a group of young war orphans when almost all aspects of civilised society have been lost, and the only law is the rule of the gun.

Sauvaire tells FPS about his experiences in Liberia, along with recalling the lethal location of his previous film, Carlitos Medillin, shot in one of Colombia's most violent slums.

The Burning Plain

In part two, Mexico's Guillermo Arriaga and South Africa's Charlize Theron join entertainment editor Amanda Palmer and the FPS audience to talk about Arriaga's directorial debut, The Burning Plain.

Al Jazeera's Amanda Palmer, Charlize Theron and Guillermo Arriaga
With too many Oscar and BAFTA nominations to mention, Guillermo Arriaga is one of the most successful screenwriters in world cinema (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel).

His directorial debut, The Burning Plain stars Charlize Theron, Oscar-winner for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

Theron transforms herself yet again for this challenging role. 

The Burning Plain explores the mysterious connections amongst several characters in familiar Arriaga style, separated by time and space.

Sixteen-year-old Mariana (Jennifer Lawrence) is trying to put together the shattered lives of her family in a New Mexico border town; Sylvia (Theron), in Portland, Oregon, must undertake an emotional journey to resolve a sin from her past; Gina (Kim Basinger) and Nick must deal with an intense and clandestine affair; and Maria, a young Mexican girl, helps her parents find redemption, forgiveness and love.

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show can be seen from Monday, March 23, 2009 at the following times GMT:
Monday:
1230; Tuesday: 0330 and 1400; Wednesday: 0630; Thursday: 0130 and 1030; Saturday: 1730; Sunday: 0430 and 2030.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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