Venice film festival kicks off with clash of civilizations

W.G.Ewald

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Venice film festival kicks off with clash of civilizations - Yahoo! News Canada

The Venice film festival kicked off an art house dominated line-up on Wednesday with a thriller by Mira Nair about a Pakistani man torn between East and West after the September 11 attacks...

Joining Casta on the red carpet were Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts and the cast of Nair's "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" starring British actor Riz Ahmed as Changez -- a soulful Pakistani who rejects fundamentalism in all its forms.

Nair's clash of civilizations tale is set in New York and Lahore before and after September 11 and drew gasps from the audience as it portrayed the discrimination suffered in America by Changez following the attacks.

The character rises the Wall Street but is increasingly alienated by the United States and returns to Pakistan where he starts teaching at a university riven by militancy where CIA agents are searching for a kidnapped US professor.

"We all know there's been an enormous schism, a wall between East and West in the past decade. I wanted to bring some sense of bridge-making, some sense of healing that goes beyond stereotype," Nair said at a press conference.
 

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