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Thursday, June 15, 2006

LAND OF THE BLIND Opens Friday, June 16, in Limited Engagement in New York 


Hitler begot "The Great Dictator". Stalin begot "Animal Farm". The colonialists and imperialist adverturers begot "Burn". They and their successors begot "Dr. Strangelove" and "Being There". Now in our age, if filmmaker Robert Edwards has his wish, there is "Land of the Blind".

Here is the description of the film by its producers:

ABOUT THE FILM -- LAND OF THE BLIND is a satiric political drama about terrorism, revolution, and the power of memory. In an unnamed place and time, an idealistic soldier named Joe (Ralph Fiennes) strikes up an illicit friendship with a political prisoner named Thorne (Donald Sutherland). Through their conversations in the high-security military prison where Thorne is held, Joe slowly begins to question his allegiance to the country's brutal but clowinsh dictator (Tom Hollander) and his Machiavellian wife (Lara Flynn Boyle). Eventually Thorne succeeds in recruiting Joe to the revolutionary cause, culminating in a bloody coup d'etat. But in the post-revolutionary world, what Thorne asks of Joe leads the two men into bitter conflict, spiraling downward into madness until Joe's co-conspirators conclude that they must erase him from history.

Robert Edwards is an American filmmaker based in New York City. LAND OF THE BLIND, his feature debut, starring Ralph Fiennes and Donald Sutherland, will have its US Premiere in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, May 1, 2006. Its World Premiere was in VPRO Tiger Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on January 31, 2006. The film was also the Opening Night Benefit Gala film at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, London, March 15, 2006, and the festival's public premiere the following night, March 16.

Edwards's screenplay for LAND OF THE BLIND, his first scriptwriting effort, won the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2001. His screenplay TRUST is currently in pre-production, to be produced by Michael London and directed by Neil Labute.

Among the reviews of this new political send-up are these:

"Acerbic as Dr. Strangelove..." -- Times of London

"A fantastic film: darkly humorous, intelligent....satirises with excruciating accuracy the kind of story we have seen played out all over the world, from Haiti to Afghanistan." -- The New Statesman, London

Rated "O" for "Morally Offensive" by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

That last one should tell you what you need to know.

I have not seen the film yet, but plan to do so this weekend as the film has a limited engagement run in New York. It will be playing in Manhattan at the Village East at 11th St. and 3rd Ave., and at the Empire 25 in Times Square.

The film has a page on MySpace with more information at http://www.myspace.com/landoftheblindthemovie.

And Robert Edwards noted in a bulletin sent out Wednesday to MySpace members:

We had a sneak preview of LAND OF THE BLIND last night that threatened to turn into an episode of Jerry Springer. Some people in the audience were so angry at the film that they shouted at the director throughout the Q&A. (Perhaps they agree with the Catholic Church's which gave the film a rating of "Morally Offensive.") Meanwhile, others in the audience who loved the film shouted at the first group to shut up.

Never a dull moment.

If you want to see what all the excitement is about, and you live in NYC, come see LAND OF THE BLIND, starring Ralph Fiennes and Donald Sutherland, when it opens on Friday.

And he added:

Tickets are now available at 1-800-Fandango or www.fandango.com OR copy and paste this link:http://www.fandango.com/MoviePage.aspx?date=6/16/2006&amp;amp;mid=96224&source=moviesearch

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