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Friday, 15 March, 2002, 13:42 GMT
Jolie film angers Ethiopians
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is also a goodwill ambassador
A new film starring Angelina Jolie which features the Ethiopian famine in 1984 has enraged the country's government because they say it provides an "untrue" image of the nation.

Jolie is filming romantic drama Beyond Borders in Namibia because of safety concerns about filming in Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Ethiopians said the film does not reflect the modern country
But the Ethiopian government has complained to Namibia, saying the film does not show any of the progress made since the drought and starvation of the mid-1980s.

"The portrayal of happenings of 1984 in the film does not reflect the true image of Ethiopia today," Tegenaw Goshu, spokesman for the Ethiopian embassy in South Africa, said.

Jolie stars as an international socialite who falls in love with an aid worker, played by Clive Owen, who travels to Cambodia, Chechnya and Ethiopia.

His character's plea for help for Ethiopians in 1984 leads Jolie's character to the country.


"The portrayal of negative images about Ethiopia does not help the whole of Africa, the media should strive to include positive image of our continent," Mr Goshu said.

He added that the film's producers had refused offers of help from organisations that wanted to put the country's story into historical context.

Jolie began a month-long film shoot in Namibia at the start of March, and said she did not want the end result to offend anyone.

"We are extremely sensitive with the subject matter and hope to rather raise awareness of what these people are going through and their suffering," she said when she arrived.


"I hope the movie will open people's eyes to what is happening."

The film was "an amazing project", she said.

Jolie is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and said she planned to visit Namibia's Osire refugee camp - which has received thousands of Angolan refugees.

Beyond Borders is being made by GoldenEye and The Mask of Zorro director Martin Campbell.

See also:

13 Mar 02 | Showbiz
Jolie 'grateful' for adopted son
27 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Jolie gets UN refugee role
30 Jul 01 | Film
Jolie's Cambodian mission
22 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Ethiopia
07 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Namibia
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