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New film tells of Beirut hostages' ordeal

Feb. 20, 2004 at 1:33 PM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Former Beirut hostages Brian Keenan and James McCarthy have told the story of their imprisonment in a new film, "Blind Flight," which has premiered in Dublin.

The movie tells the true story of the torture Keenan and McCarthy endured, as well as the deep friendship they developed following their 1986 kidnapping by Arab fundamentalists in Lebanon, the BBC reported Friday.

Keenan, who wrote the screenplay with McCarthy, said the film was not meant to replicate every detail of what happened in their dark prison cell, but rather to attempt to understand how people survive and grow.

"What it did tend to do was to address the various deep human truths by which we all grow and re-experience the value of ourselves and the value of others," Keenan said. "That was the intention of the film and that is why the film works."

McCarthy, whose mother died while he was held hostage, said watching "Blind Flight" was very emotional.

"I found it very powerful, particularly the scenes where Brian was comforting me after seeing a video of my mother, to remember how much we cared for each other," McCarthy said.

"That is how we survived," he said, "by trying desperately to understand what each other needed, even when we were at our wits' end."

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