Spielberg films refugee’s story


16/06/2004 - 17:19:20 So Steven Spielberg has made a film about him, and the director’s Pacific Palisades neighbour Tom Hanks is portraying him and Catherine Zeta-Jones is playing his girlfriend.

So Steven Spielberg has made a film about him, and the director’s Pacific Palisades neighbour Tom Hanks is portraying him and Catherine Zeta-Jones is playing his girlfriend.

But none of them have bothered to ask Merhan Karimi Nasseri what he thinks about it all.

In The Terminal, which opens in the US on Friday, Hanks plays an immigrant from a former Soviet country who arrives in New York to discover his homeland has closed its borders and he is not allowed to set foot on American soil.

Pretty much the whole film is shot in an airport terminal built at great expense by Spielberg in deserted aircraft hanger outside LA.

The story is loosely based on Nasseri’s plight.

The Iranian refugee has spent the last 15 years in Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, where home is a red plastic bench between a pizzeria and an electronic store.

The French can’t deport him because no country will have him.

Perhaps it’s just me, but you would think Hanks and Spielberg, who were in Normandy for the D-Day commemorations, would have dropped in to see if they could offer him a hand.


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