A Mighty Heart
On January 23, 2002, Mariane Pearl’s world changed forever. Her husband Daniel, South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was researching a story on shoe bomber Richard Reid. The story drew them to Karachi where a go-between had promised access to an elusive source. As Danny left for the meeting, he told Mariane he might be late for dinner. He never returned.
In the face of death, Danny’s spirit of defiance and his unflinching belief in the power of journalism led Mariane to write about his disappearance, the intense effort to find him and his eventual murder in her memoir A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl. Six months pregnant when the ordeal began, she was carrying a son that Danny hoped to name Adam. She wrote the book to introduce Adam to the father he would never meet. Transcending religion, race and nationality, Mariane’s courageous desire to rise above the bitterness and hatred that continues to plague this post 9/11 world, serves as the purest expression of the joy of life she and Danny shared.
A very plausible and realistic view, I suppose, of the entire Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder as seen from his wife Mariane’s perspective, “A Mighty Heart” does a fine job in telling this sad story. Although as slow moving as the true search for Mr. Pearl was, the film does a good job in letting us understand the players involved in the attempt to rescue him. While the terrorists demonstrate their inhumanity to their fellow man, those trying to assist Mariane in finding her husband demonstrate real concern and caring for the Pearls. It is clear throughout the film the completely different culture that makes up South Asia and the Middle East compared to America. One I’m sure that most Americans cannot understand. Most likely that is why Daniel Pearl’s parents created a foundation that deals specifically with trying to help the people of the world understand other cultures. One comes away from the film hoping and praying that a cure for this kind of barbaric hatred can and will be found.
While Dove cannot approve the film as family-friendly because of the language, “A Mighty Heart” deals directly with what most of us fear, terrorism, whether on American soil or abroad.