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Jolie Seeks Cultural Dialogue With 'Heart'

Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie waves to fans as she leaves after filming a scene for "A Mighty Heart" at a restaurant in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006. Jolie is in India to shoot for Michael Winterbottom's film "Mighty Heart," a film on the life of American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was slain by terrorists in Pakistan four years ago. Jolie plays Daniel's widow Mariane, on whose book of the same name the film is based upon. (AP Photo/Rajesh Nirgude)
AP Photo/Rajesh Nirgude
Angelina Jolie says playing the wife of slain American journalist Daniel Pearl in "A Mighty Heart" is challenging, as she attempts to portray her strength amid the loss of her husband.

"We need to tell the story of Daniel Pearl and the reason we are making this film is because it's very important to have a dialogue between the two cultures," the 31-year-old actress was quoted as saying in The Times of India newspaper Thursday. "I have the blessings of Daniel Pearl's family to play this role."

Jolie and her beau Brad Pitt arrived in India last month. There was trouble on the set of the film Thursday when Jolie's bodyguards allegedly roughed up parents and students at a school where she was filming scenes for the movie, witnesses said.

Pearl, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, was abducted and murdered in Pakistan in 2002 while researching a story on Islamic militancy.

His wife, Mariane, doesn't harbor any ill will toward the Pakistani people, Jolie told a group of Indian journalists Wednesday.

Mariane Pearl has every reason to be "embittered and angry about what happened to her husband and her," but she has remained "positive and has nothing against Pakistan," Jolie said.


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Playing Mariane Pearl "was certainly challenging for me, as I have to make the world understand this woman and her family," the Hollywood actress said.

"She still loves Pakistan, she carries no hatred. She is above all that, and her strength is a reminder that this is what the world needs," the DNA newspaper quoted Jolie as saying.

2The movie is an adaptation of Mariane Pearl's book, "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl."

Dan Futterman portrays Pearl in the film. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, "A Mighty Heart" is expected to be released next year.

The fracas on set began when the gates of the Anjuman-e-Islam school, which had been locked during filming, were opened to let the parents fetch their children on Thursday.

"This Jolie's bodyguard called one parent, 'You bloody Indian,' " said Mohammed Yusuf Patni, general secretary of the school's Parent Teacher Association. "Children were pushed around."

Patni, who has two children studying at the Muslim school, said "mothers were also shoved aside by the guards."

Dallington TV, a British production company that organized the shoot, blamed the scuffle on photographers and television cameramen that it said rushed the school to get pictures of Jolie.

"We had the full permission and cooperation of the school to film on the premises," Dallington said in a statement. "When the gates were opened to allow the parents in to collect their children, the paparazzi rushed the school causing confusion."

The parents filed a complaint with police against the school's management and an unnamed bodyguard, the Press Trust of India reported.

Representatives for Jolie refused to comment.

The scuffle wasn't the first that security guards have had since Jolie arrived in India last month with Brad Pitt and their three children.


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In one incident, an Associated Press freelance photographer alleged that security guards protecting Jolie's movie set in Pune had hit him and threatened him with a gun.

Earlier, as Pitt and Jolie were leaving a hotel, one of their security guards manhandled a British photographer trying to take their photo, grabbing the man by his neck and verbally abusing him.