Berlinale film comes under fire

Legal issues mire 'Heart of Fire'

A growing legal storm is threatening to discredit Luigi Falorni’s child soldier drama “Heart of Fire” a week before its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.

Pic, along with author Senait Mehari, is facing a legal assault over her autobiography.

Mehari’s book recounts her early life in Eritrea in East Africa and being forced to serve as a child soldier. A number of her alleged fellow soldiers have filed defamation lawsuits against the writer, who went on to forge a successful career as a singer in Germany following the international success of her book.

Judging in favor of one of Mehari’s former schoolmates, a Berlin court has ordered the writer to pay E9,000 ($13,359) in damages for defamation. Lawyers for Mehari have appealed.

An attorney for the plaintiffs has said Falorni’s film is under review and warned that its producers may also face legal action.

Such a move could prove embarrassing for the Berlinale, which prides itself for its politically charged film lineups, as well as for Falorni, who won an Oscar nomination for his 2004 Mongolian doc “The Story of the Weeping Camel.”

Christoph Mueller, head of Senator Film Prod., which co-produced “Heart of Fire,” has said the film is “neither a documentary nor a one-to-one adaptation of the book,” but rather a cinematic narrative loosely based on Mehari’s tome. Mueller added that Senator had researched the historical facts in the screenplay and found them to be accurate.

More Film

  • Sam Rockwell Jojo Rabbit

    Sam Rockwell Eyes Taika Waititi's 'Jojo Rabbit' With Scarlett Johansson

    A growing legal storm is threatening to discredit Luigi Falorni’s child soldier drama “Heart of Fire” a week before its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Pic, along with author Senait Mehari, is facing a legal assault over her autobiography. Mehari’s book recounts her early life in Eritrea in East Africa and being forced to […]

  • Roadrunner Capital Fund

    The Exchange, Forest Road Team on Roadrunner Capital Fund (EXCLUSIVE)

    A growing legal storm is threatening to discredit Luigi Falorni’s child soldier drama “Heart of Fire” a week before its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Pic, along with author Senait Mehari, is facing a legal assault over her autobiography. Mehari’s book recounts her early life in Eritrea in East Africa and being forced to […]

  • Ross Butler'13 Reasons Why' TV series

    '13 Reasons Why' Actor Ross Butler Joins DC's 'Shazam!'

    A growing legal storm is threatening to discredit Luigi Falorni’s child soldier drama “Heart of Fire” a week before its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Pic, along with author Senait Mehari, is facing a legal assault over her autobiography. Mehari’s book recounts her early life in Eritrea in East Africa and being forced to […]

  • Oscars 2016 Red Carpet Placeholder

    Film Academy Sets Key Dates for 91st Oscars

    A growing legal storm is threatening to discredit Luigi Falorni’s child soldier drama “Heart of Fire” a week before its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Pic, along with author Senait Mehari, is facing a legal assault over her autobiography. Mehari’s book recounts her early life in Eritrea in East Africa and being forced to […]

  • Philip D'Antoni wins an Oscar for

    Philip D’Antoni, 'The French Connection' Producer, Dies at 89

    A growing legal storm is threatening to discredit Luigi Falorni’s child soldier drama “Heart of Fire” a week before its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Pic, along with author Senait Mehari, is facing a legal assault over her autobiography. Mehari’s book recounts her early life in Eritrea in East Africa and being forced to […]

  • Ansel ElgortVanity Fair Oscar Party, Arrivals,

    Ansel Elgort Talks #MeToo, 'The Goldfinch' and His Creepy Thriller 'Jonathan'

    A growing legal storm is threatening to discredit Luigi Falorni’s child soldier drama “Heart of Fire” a week before its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Pic, along with author Senait Mehari, is facing a legal assault over her autobiography. Mehari’s book recounts her early life in Eritrea in East Africa and being forced to […]

  • Stephen CurryESPY Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles,

    Steph Curry Closes Multi-Year Production Deal With Sony

    A growing legal storm is threatening to discredit Luigi Falorni’s child soldier drama “Heart of Fire” a week before its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Pic, along with author Senait Mehari, is facing a legal assault over her autobiography. Mehari’s book recounts her early life in Eritrea in East Africa and being forced to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content