- Title: GERMANY: Carlos the Jackal premieres in the capital Berlin
- Date: 29th October 2010
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (OCTOBER 28, 2010) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) FILM DIRECTOR, OLIVIER ASSAYAS, SAYING: "So it is, you know for me it was fascinating to work with this whole new generation of great German actors. And the youth of the actors and the fact that there were no big stars, no big egos in this film. It meant that everybody was focused on doing the best possible film and you know we were all together in this and i think it has to do with the energy of the film. CAST STANDING FOR PHOTO 20 CLOSE SCHEER BERLIN, GERMANY (RECENT) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (German) ACTOR WHO PLAYS JOHANNES WEINRICH, ALEXANDER SCHEER; SAYING: "At first i didn't to take part (laughs) No really, at first i wasn't in the least bit interested in the part of Johannes Weinrich. I wanted to play Hans Joachim Klein (laughs) I mean, him i can understand, when he says I am getting out, it's all shit. I get that. It's heroic. But to play the number two. The guy that books the flights, the guy that gets his women pinched by the boss. That's not usually the kind of role I would get excited about But that was the challenge: to play the character that I don't like"
- Embargoed: 13th November 2010 12:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Reuters ID: LVA9FPC6LNWMLSKZLKRCZARFK9UW
- Story Text: It is a film about the man the world knew as Carlos. And now, at least in this film portrayal, Carlos has a face. Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez plays the role of Carlos the Jackal the world's most wanted terrorist. There were hardly any photos of the real 'Jackal' who appeared on the wanted posters in sunglasses.
Carlos was born Illich Ramirez Sanchez, and during the 70s emerged as the world's most wanted terrorist. He was responsible for the attack on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna in 1975 and went on to become a cold-blooded terrorist, who turned killing people into a business venture.
His contacts to the secret services in both the East and the West allowed him to repeatedly disappear and gave him the reputation of a phantom. He hoarded a fortune in Swiss banks which he splashed out on luxury hotels and women. But with the end of the cold war things took a different turn. Former cohorts turned on him and in 1994 Carlos was arrested in France given a life sentence.
French film director Olivier Assayas has now put this story into film with his lengthy portrayal of the Jackal's story - the film runs at five-and-a-half hours at full length, which had its German premiere in Berlin on Thursday night (October 29) Assayas spent years researching the project to try and paint the most accurate picture of Carlos as possible.
Among the young German actors who grace the film is Christoph Bach. Bach plays Hans Joachim Klein the man who participated in the OPEC attack. He publicly renounced political violence two years later and was arrested in 1998.
For Bach the challenge was in creating such a complex character.
"It is never easy (getting into character) but what I liked (about the character) is that he is a contradictory and complex character and that is what interests me as an actor. And Hans Joachim-Klein was a perfect character," Bach told Reuters Television.
German actress, Nora von WaldstÃ¤tten took the role of Carlos' wife Magdalena Kopp who joined the cell in the 1970s and was in charge of forging the documents for the group.
Assayas, who was in Berlin for the premiere said the length of the film came from his desire to tell the story properly.
"Once I decided to make it the way it has to be made meaning by very - by recreating the period, recreating the facts, recreating the complexities of the geo-politics of that time. You know, its, you need to focus on what happened in Paris when he killed those cops, you need to focus on the operation in Vienna. You need to also to see how he gets arrested. To me it was one extraordinary opportunity to do something that has never really been done. To try things I had never tried and it was an extraordinary adventure," Assayas said.
German actor Alexander Scheer almost turned down the role of Carlos' second hand man.
"I wanted to play Hans Joachim Klein (laughs) I mean, him I can understand, when he says I am getting out, it's all shit. I get that. It's heroic. But to play the number two. The guy that books the flights, the guy that gets his women pinched by the boss. That's not usually the kind of role I would get excited about But that was the challenge: to play the character that I don't like," Scheer said in an interview with Reuters ahead of appearing on the red carpet.
The film has been accused of glamourising terrorism but has received overwhelmingly good reviews.
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