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Kathryn Bigelow and Todd Field Circle Competing Bowe Bergdahl Feature Films

Written by on June 16, 2014 

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As the constant law of nature decrees: if there is any issue which currently gnaws away at the American conscience, multiple people in Hollywood will attempt to make a film about it. At least earning the attention of two strong artists — one of whom hasn’t released a film in almost eight years — is Bowe Bergdahl, a former POW whose recent release has dominated headlines for a multitude of reasons, most of which, frankly, we best not get into here.

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So let’s take the easy way out and focus on cinema! Deadline tell us Kathyrn Bigelow and Mark Boal, themselves no strangers to issues currently plaguing the Middle East, are partnering once more with Annapurna for a currently untitled picture — one presumably centering on his capture by the Taliban, five years spent in a cave, and subsequent release, though we’re only guessing on as much. Complicating matters is the notice that Todd Field, perpetually on the cusp of following up Little Children, is “involved” with Fox Searchlight’s own endeavor. Things are a bit more clear on this front: it would adapt America’s Last Prisoner of War, a comprehensive, Michael Hastings-penned account of both the soldier’s life and the effects his capture had on loved ones back home.

There’s plenty of drama to mine from the story, of course — from Bergdahl’s hardships while imprisoned to the rather disgusting treatment he and related parties have been granted in recent weeks — though I can only hope, both immediately and prematurely, that valuable resources aren’t expended in telling a similar story twice over. (That it’s been so long since Field produced something only increases the feeling, for better or for worse.) Expect more to come in on either before long.

Would you say Bergdahl’s story is fertile for cinematic treatment? Would you prefer to see Bigelow or Field tackle it?


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