Egyptian shingle Good News Group has recreated Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison as part of its hot-button pic “The Baby Doll Night.”
Producers built large sections of the prison at Cairo’s Studio Masr and re-enacted the scenes of prisoner abuse and torture by American soldiers, the photos of which caused a media sensation when they were leaked on to the Internet in 2004.
“The Baby Doll Night” attempts to tackle 70 years of East-West relations, including the Holocaust, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Sept. 11 attacks as well as the Iraq war.
Pic takes places on New Year’s Eve in Cairo as an Egyptian tourism official finds his evening ruined by feuding American, French and Arab delegations.
Pic wrapped its month-long Cairo shoot last week and will move on to lens in New York and Washington, plus the Czech Republic, Turkey and Syria.
Good News execs say the scenes of American actors torturing their Arab counterparts are integral to the film but were tough for the cast and crew. “What you saw in the media were shots and frozen moments of agony,” says producer and director Adel Adeeb. “What the actual scenes do is bring those moments to life and give the audience a sense and make them witnesses to what some innocent prisoners were subjected to.”
“The Baby Doll Night” could raise ire like the previous Good News drama “The Yacoubian Building.” That film, when went on to become the biggest grosser at the Egyptian box office in 2006, faced bomb threats from Islamic radicals and attempts by a group of Egyptian politicians to have the film censored.