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Morgan Freeman underscores the importance of cinema in creating tolerance amongst varied cultures

Tue Dec 07,2004

One of Hollywood’s most loved actors, Morgan Freeman pointed out the power of cinema in fostering understanding and tolerance amongst varied cultures of the world. He appreciated the organisation of the inaugural Dubai International Film Festival and stressed that this could be an ideal vehicle to bridge global cultural divides.


“Film is best suited to allow us to share our stories with each other so that people in other locations can develop an understanding of our condition and perspectives,” he said.


In a freewheeling discussion at the Madinat Jumeirah, venue for the Dubai International Film Festival, Freeman spoke about his first impressions of Dubai, his anti-apartheid film Bopha!, his future projects and plans.


On the relevance today of his film Bopha!, with which he made his directorial debut in 1993, Freeman said: ”Even though there have been a number of changes within South Africa after the end of Apartheid, the message of Bopha! is still relevant as complete change in a country such a large country takes time. The condition of South Africans has improved but not to such a large extent as to make the film just a historical commentary. It still educates viewers about the situation of black South Africans in the country.”


As he landed last night on his first ever visit to the Middle East, Freeman has not been able to gain a viewpoint about Dubai yet but was very impressed the ideas and development here.


His future projects include acting in the multi-starring movie Lucky Number Seven for which he will go directly to Toronto and also an upcoming project on the life of Nelson Mandela. On being asked whether directing Bopha! would help in his portrayal on screen of Mandela, he emphatically replied, “No, it won’t.”


On a lighter note, Freeman said that in future he intends to stick to acting and not venture into directing. “I have taken up flying and intend to be a jet pilot,” he said while signing off.

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