Cusack aims to offend with war satire film

Thu May 1, 2008 1:42pm EDT
 
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - John Cusack is outraged over the Iraq war, so the U.S. actor channeled his anger into a low-budget political satire -- complete with a chorus line of scantily clad female amputees -- that he hopes will offend.

Inspired by anger about the war and questions about the political power held by global corporations, "War, Inc" is set in Turaqistan, a fictional nation occupied by a private U.S. company called Tamerlane and run by a former American vice president.

Cusack helped write the screenplay and also stars with Sir Ben Kingsley, Marisa Tomei and Hilary Duff in the film, which premiered this week at New York's Tribeca Film Festival alongside several more serious documentaries on Iraq and other conflicts.

"I think the movie should be kind of offensive," Cusack told Reuters about the film, which will be released in New York and Los Angeles theaters on May 23. "I'm shocked at how much good reaction we're getting."

"Sometimes with a serious, somber movie, even though they're great and well intentioned, it just doesn't allow you to be outraged because you just get depressed," he said. "This allows you to actually feel like, 'Let's do something subversive."'

In the movie, Cusack plays a hit man hired by Tamerlane to assassinate a Middle Eastern oil minister who plans to lay an oil pipeline through Turaqistan, thwarting the company's plan for sole proprietorship of the country.

"(The movie) was just a reaction to the war and all the insanity behind using the 9/11 attacks to make an imperial land grab in the Middle East," he said. "We really wanted to channel our outrage a little bit into something creative."

'IT'S NOT RIGHT'   Continued...

 
<p>Cast member John Cusack attends the premiere of "Grace Is Gone" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California November 28, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>