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USA: The Weinstein Company
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Hiam Abbass, Freida Pinto, Yasmine Al Massri, Ruba Blal, Alexander Siddig, Omar Metwally, Stella Schnabel, Willem Dafoe, Vanessa Redgrave
Director: Julian Schnabel
Countries: France / Italy / Israel / India
USA: 114 mins
UK: 112 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 on appeal for thematic material, and some violent content including a sexual assault
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate language, violence and injury detail
USA Release Date: 25 March 2011 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 3 December 2010 (Limited Release)
"Miral is a red flower. It grows on the side of the road. You've probably seen millions of them."
From Julian Schnabel, director of THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, BEFORE NIGHT FALLS and BASQUIAT, comes MIRAL, the visceral, first-person diary of a young girl growing up in East Jerusalem as she confronts the effects of occupation and war in every corner of her life. Like his paintings made out of shards, Schnabel pieces together momentary fragments of Miral's world - how she was formed, who influenced her, all that she experiences in her tumultuous early years - to create a raw, moving, poetic portrait of a woman whose small, personal story is inextricably woven into the bigger history unfolding all around her.
Miral's story, which shifts sinuously through layers of time and emotions, begins with the woman who will become her teacher: Hind Husseini (Hiam Abbass - THE VISITOR, AMREEKA), who in 1948 turned her father's home into the Dar Al-Tifel Institute, an orphanage and school for Palestinian children. What would you do if you found 55 orphans wandering the streets in the middle of a war? For Hind, the answer was to protect them, draw a line around them and make a safe haven where they could not be harmed, and where they could learn in safety and begin to imagine a more peaceful world.
Some years after Hind starts her school, a 5 year-old girl arrives at the Institute in the wake of her mother's heartbreaking death. This is Miral (Freida Pinto - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), and this is her story. She will grow up sheltered inside the protective walls of Dar Al-Tifl, but then, at the age of 16, on the cusp of the Intifada, Miral is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she is awakened to the anger and struggles that seem to be her legacy. When she falls for a fervent political activist, Hani (Omar Metwally - MUNICH, RENDITION), Miral is drawn into a personal dilemma: to choose a path of violence or to follow Mama Hind's hard-fought belief that education is the only way to pursue lasting peace.
Showcasing a host of acting talent including Hiam Abbass, Freida Pinto, Yasmine Al Massri, Ruba Blal, Alexander Siddig, Omar Metwally, Stella Schnabel, Willem Dafoe and Vanessa Redgrave, MIRAL is a story about education, about love, about people and about hope. Using the backdrop of a half-century of conflict MIRAL tells the story of four different women who find desperation and courage, defiance and generosity, grief and wisdom, fear and love as they try to alternately survive, confront and remake a shattered world.
MIRAL was written by Rula Jebreal and is based on her book of the same name. Presented by JerOme Seydoux and produced by Jon Killik, with executive producer Francois Xavier Decraene.