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Rudman Institute Presents Free Screening of The Beast of War

November 2, 2005

The Beast of WarFree Screening followed by Q&A with the Screenwriter

  • Wednesday, November 2 @ 7pm
  • Screening Room 028
  • University Crossings
  • 15 North 32nd Street
  • For reservations call 215-895-0352 or RSVP online

Noted screenwriter and playwright William Mastrosimone's THE BEAST OF WAR was a film ahead of its time and is something of a lost classic. The movie tells the story of a Soviet tank crew lost behind enemy lines during the war in Afghanistan.

Set in 1981, Afghan Mujahadeen set out to destroy a lone Russian tank and its crew after the Russians' vicious attack on a local village. The film stars Jason Patric, Stephen Baldwin and George Dzundza, and was directed by Kevin Reynolds (ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES).

This is a superior war movie that portrays all sides of the conflict with complexity and compassion. The film was produced during the tenure of Sir David Puttnam as the head of Columbia Pictures. Puttnam was vocal about his intentions to produce more ambitious movies that tackled social and political issues rather than most Hollywood fare which he saw as exploitative. A movie about a foreign conflict set in a distant land would never have been an easy sell to audiences and when Puttnam's short tenure came to an end, his successors 'dumped' the film.

In light of the United States' involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, THE BEAST OF WAR is even more relevant today and the film holds up well as a tense action film and as an examination of the horrors of war. Mastrosimone's work includes the script and play of EXTREMITIES; the critically acclaimed BURNING SEASON, an HBO film on the destruction of the Amazon rain forest; and TNT's recent Steven Spielberg produced mini-series INTO THE WEST. His play THE AFGHAN WOMEN will be presented on Broadway in 2006. The author lives in the Delaware Valley.

This event is presented by the Kal & Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies.