German Jews Horrified by Britney Holocaust Role
The news that Britney Spears may hit the silver screen as the star of a Holocaust-era romantic tragedy has raised eyebrows in Germany. The plot calls for the pop-star to travel back in time to a concentration camp -- and the Central Council of Jews in Germany says the idea is "reprehensible."Spears, who is currently in the process of successfully resuscitating her recently languishing music career with her global "Circus" tour, is reportedly reviewing a script for a film tentatively titled "The Yellow Star of Sophia and Eton." The flick would see her playing a character named Sophia LaMont who travels back in time to fall in love with a Jewish concentration camp prisoner named Eton. In a tricky critique of ongoing anti-Semitism, the script concludes with the lovebirds travelling back to the present day before being killed by Nazis.
Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, has said she is horrified at the prospect of Britney making a Holocaust film. "In films that deal with the Holocaust, the script should be carefully chosen and the cast picked with care," Knobloch told the German tabloid Bild. "It is reprehensible to combine the issue of the Holocaust with Britney Spears in an attempt to secure financing for the film 'The Yellow Star of Sophia and Eton.' Ethical considerations should have priority."
Spears' music career got off to an impressive start and she quickly became one of the most successful acts of all time, having sold more than 87 million albums. But the 27-year-old's image has taken a hit in recent years with a seemingly unending series of scandals involving custody of her two boys, substance abuse problems and a number of salacious pictures circulating across the Internet.
Whether her presence on the cast of the new film would be enough to secure funding remains questionable. Her first film was universally panned and she won the Golden Raspberry award in 2002 for worst actress. The "Circus" tour is scheduled to make a stop in Berlin at the end of July.
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The German Defence Ministry has dropped its concerns about Tom Cruise being a member of Scientology and decided to allow him to shoot scenes inside the Defense Ministry for his film about the plot to assassinate Hitler.
The ministry had initially refused to let Cruise, <NOBR>(more...)</NOBR>who plays would-be Hitler assassin Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, to film at the site inside the ministry where Stauffenberg was shot. It had explained the ban by referring to Cruise's membership of Scientology, which the German government regards as a money-making cult rather than a church.
But that decision in June was controversial in Germany, where many have welcomed Hollywood's decision to make a film about a national hero who symbolized resistance to Hitler.
The defence ministry has now changed its mind. Spokesman Thomas Rabe told Bild newspaper: "There's a different assessment of the film project now. We will visit the scene with director Brian Singer to clarify what can and can't be done while preserving the special dignity of this location."
For example, government sources told the paper that it was unthinkable that Nazi swastika flags could be put up inside the ministry's "Bendlerblock" memorial where Stauffenberg planned the failed plot to blow up Hitler with a suitcase bomb, and where he was later executed.Insiders told Bild that the German government had been persuaded that the film, whose working title has apparently been changed from "Valkyrie" to "Rubicon," wasn't being made by a sect but by a serious and professional company working with a Jewish director.
The ministry could not immediately be reached for comment. According to the screenplay of the film, currently shooting in and around Berlin, three night scenes and one day scene will be filmed in the Bendlerblock.
Cruise had aleady been allowed to film inside and in front of Berlin's Finance Ministry, the forbidding Nazi era building that housed the headquarters of the Luftwaffe air force in World War Two.