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Pic thriving in Peru crisis

LIMA Peru and Marxist rebels holding 72 hostages may be far from ending the 2-1/2-month-old crisis at the Japanese ambassador’s residence, but a film dramatizing the siege starts casting Tuesday.

A U.S.-Peruvian joint venture announced last week it will hold auditions to choose 1,000 extras to represent the guests at a lavish cocktail party that was stormed Dec. 17 by some 20 heavily armed Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) rebels.

The film will concentrate on the protagonists inside the residence, with the main characters being key hostages — foreign minister Francisco Tudela and Japanese ambassador Morihisa Aoki, Peruvian film company Video Mundo announced.

Supporting characters will include rebel leader Nestor Cerpa Cartolini and chief mediator Michel Minnig of the Red Cross, while smaller parts will go to the hordes of journalists covering events in nearby buildings, the company said.

The rebels initially took more than 500 hostages and have freed all but 72.

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