Fresh off of turning down an audience with the Queen of England (humanizing the aloof matriarch was favor enough, if you ask me, AND YOU HAVE!!!), Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren is preparing for a trip to Jordan, where she'll star in a character-based drama about the always entertaining Israeli-Palestinian conflict - which should be definitively settled any day now. Directed by Philip Martin and written by Frank Deasy, who just teamed with Mirren on the seventh and final chapter of the BBC series Prime Suspect, the movie will concern a Jewish woman still living on the Gaza Strip whose daughter is shot and killed. That the daughter happened to be dating a Palestinian man may or may not figure into the motivation for her murder; the helpful reporter at The Times ain't sayin'.
The film, currently titled Gaza, will be shot Jordan-for-Gaza in response to the recent kidnapping of BBC journalist Alan Johnston. I guess had this gentleman not been shanghaied, the Gaza Strip would've been deemed a much safer place to shoot. The involvement of Mirren automatically makes this project worthwhile, though I'm a bit concerned by the producer's emphasis that this is "much more a human interest story rather than a political one." If this means it's a humanist take on the conflict, then cool; if this means it's merely an acting showcase for Mirren, deal me out.
Left Bank Pictures is producing Gaza, which will probably be ready for the festival circuit a year from now.