Hero's Zhang Ziyi is Iraq War's second casualty

Updated on Mar 23, 2003 02:05 PM IST

Zhang Ziyi, star of Hero ? one of the top five entries in the Best Foreign Films category, won't be attending the Oscars ceremony because the Iraq war has left her in no mood to celebrate.

HT Image
HT Image
PTI | ByAP, Beijing

Zhang Ziyi, star of Hero – one of the top five entries in the Best Foreign Film category, won't be attending the Academy Awards ceremony because the Iraq war has left her in no mood to celebrate, a newspaper reported. "With war comes bloodshed and death. How can one go to an awards ceremony in a fancy evening gown and smile?" the Beijing Youth Daily quoted Zhang as saying.

Hero director Zhang Yimou, however, says the message of the martial arts epic set in the reign of China's legendary first emperor "is even more relevant in the present circumstances", the report added. "Hero is a film calling for peace, and at this moment in time, peace is even more important," the director was quoted as saying. Neither Zhang Ziyi nor Zhang Yimou could be immediately contacted.

Hero features an all-star Chinese-language cast, including martial arts master Jet Li and Hong Kong's Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. Cheung and Leung also planned to skip the ceremony, the Beijing Youth Daily said. Their managers in Hong Kong didn't immediately return phone calls seeking confirmation.

China has demanded that the US-led coalition's assault on Iraq be halted, calling it a violation of international conventions. Hero has been declared China's highest-grossing domestically made film ever. Other Oscar nominees for best foreign language film include the Mexican entry El Crimen del Padre Amaro, Finnish film The Man Without a Past,Nowhere in Africa from Germany, and Zus & Zo from the Netherlands. 

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