I think the other misconceptions when the film came out, he was very upset that it was so widely released and so widely seen. And neither one of us – well, I think I had hopes it would be, ’cause I really did think it was something special.
Luckily, he was in the process of moving to France at the time, anyway. But if he had stayed in the States, I don’t know how he would have handled that, because it was getting pretty crazy. I mean, a celebrity which he really did not welcome. And I can’t blame him.
So I told Robert from the start that if we couldn’t get Charles and Max to take part, but especially Charles, that I didn’t want to make the film. So would he call his mother and talk to Charles and see if Charles would at all be interested.
Mountains were once my big adventure but is is over since a long time; I still dream from the wonderful days sometimes, read also a few pages from a mountain book. But the thought of doing again active mountain climbing has faded.
There is something universal in the theme of a man trying to save his family in the midst of the most terrible circumstances. It is not limited to Sierra Leone. This story could apply to any number of places where ordinary people have been caught up in political events beyond their control.
I look at modern life and I see people not taking responsibility for their lives. The temptation to blame, to find external causes to one’s own issues is something that is particularly modern. I know that personally I find that sense of responsibility interesting.
It seems that almost every time a valuable natural resource is discovered in the world-whether it be diamonds, rubber, gold, oil, whatever-often what results is a tragedy for the country in which they are found. Making matters worse, the resulting riches from these resources rarely benefit the people of the country from which they come.
Samurai culture did exist really, for hundreds of years and the notion of people trying to create some sort of a moral code, the idea that there existed certain behaviors that could be celebrated and that could be operative in a life.
There is no reason why challenging themes and engaging stories have to be mutually exclusive – in fact, each can fuel the other. As a filmmaker, I want to entertain people first and foremost. If out of that comes a greater awareness and understanding of a time or a circumstance, then the hope is that change can happen.
To me this movie is about what is valuable. To one person it might be a stone; to someone else, a story in a magazine; to another, it is a child. The juxtaposition of one man obsessed with finding a valuable diamond with another man risking his life to find his son is the beating heart of this film.
Sometimes when we weep in the movies we weep for ourselves or for a life unlived. Or we even go to the movies because we want to resist the emotion that’s there in front of us. I think there is always a catharsis that I look for and that makes the movie experience worthwhile.
Today, for a Jew who writes in the German language, it is totally impossible to make a living. In no group do I see as much misery, disappointment, desperation and hopelessness as in Jewish writers who write in German.
One out of six women are toxic with mercury. Mercury comes out of coal plants and chlorine plants. I am toxic, I deal with symptoms, children are born with, you know, autism – there is an epidemic in this country. This is like, the air that we breath.
You know, many people have called me, friends from the nationalist camp, revisionists and so on, from around the world, have called me over the years – and now again because of what happened – and they are all very cynical about the police and the authorities.