A Mighty Heart

Synopsis: On January 23, 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is to fly from Karachi to Dubai with his pregnant wife, Mariane, also a reporter. On the day before, with great care, he has arranged an interview in a café with an Islamic fundamentalist cleric. When Danny doesn't return, Mariane initiates a search. Pakistani police, American embassy personnel, and the FBI examine witnesses, phone records, e-mails, and hard drives. Who has him? Where is he? There's also the why: because of U.S. abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo, because of a history of Journal cooperation with the CIA, because Pearl is a Jew? Through it all, Mariane is clearheaded, direct, and determined.
Production: Paramount Vantage
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 17 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

The day after 9/11,

Danny and I flew to Pakistan.

He was the South Asia Bureau Chief

for the Wall Street Journal

and I was working

for French Public Radio.

Thousands of journalists from

all over the world arrived in Islamabad

to cover the war

in neighboring Afghanistan.

On the 7th October the bombing began.

The forces of the Taliban Government

were rapidly overwhelmed.

And with the end of the war,

many journalists moved on.

Danny and I stayed.

Reporting on nuclear weapons,

Al Qaeda, secret Jihadi training camps

and the million refugees

still living in Peshawar,

the birthplace of the Taliban.

As the hunt for Bin Laden

continued in the mountains of Tora Bora

many fighters slipped back

across the border into Pakistan,

Looking for a safe place to regroup.

And many people in Pakistan

saw America as the enemy

and the Taliban

as their Muslim brothers.

By the end of January,

I was five months pregnant

and we were ready to go home.

But there was one more interview

that Danny wanted.

We flew to Karachi,

one of the largest cities in the world.

The main port of entry to

and departure from Pakistan.

A vast, sprawling, chaotic city

where there are so many people

nobody knows how to count them.

How do you find

one man amongst all this?

Okay, thank you.


-Hi. How's it going?

Yeah, it's okay.

-Where's Mariane?

-She's in bed, I think.

Do you know where the

headquarters of Cybernet is?

Cybernet? Yeah. Why?

-You know Richard Reid?


He sent an e-mail to his handler here,

it's a Cybernet address.

-You wanna go there?


Hey. How are you feeling?

Huge. Pregnant. I stink.

I'll show you stink. Make a lot of stink.

This time tomorrow we're gonna be

in an air-conditioned hotel in Dubai.

-How's my little embryo?






-I have a name for him.

-You do?




-Sheraton haven't got any cars today.


-Okay, khuda hafeez.

-I need one as well.

It's not a problem.

I'll get Shabir to get you guys a taxi.

As long as it doesn't take too long.

I can't be late.

-Thank you.

-No problem.

All right, I gotta roll. I love you.

-I'll call you. Leave your phone on.


I'll see you at the supermarket, okay?

Take care of her.

-Do you have a boy?

-I have a daughter, one, sir.

-How old?

-Maybe eight and a half months.

Daughter good. No problem. Life.

-Boy too much problem, life.


Danny. Kaleem Yusuf.

-Danny Pearl.

-Nice to meet you.

Please, come through.

Would you care for some tea?

I want to ask your advice

about something.

I'm supposed to meet tonight

with Sheikh Gilani.

-Where are you supposed to meet him?

-At the Village Restaurant.

Provided you meet him at a public place

you should be all right.

-Just be careful.

-Okay, I will.


It's not just religious fundamentalism

that we are fighting.

It's a combination of tribalism,

retrogressive cultural values

and a totally decayed

criminal justice system.

So what is your focus, your solution?

-Tonight you go?

-Tomorrow, yeah.

Why, my friend?

-You know Dubai?

-I know, sir, Dubai.

-Have you been there?

-No, no. Only Karachi.

So I'm trying to find someone

who's using Cybernet as his lSP.

I have the e-mail account name

and I was wondering if you'd

be able to give me the IP number

or the name of the account holder?

It is possible but I guess everything

here is very confidential

and we are not supposed to leak

any sort of information to anybody.

Asra? Yeah, I'll be there in 10 minutes.



Danny. How are you?

Is everything okay?

Yeah. No, I'm all right,

I'm on my way now.

Okay. Is Mariane going with you?

-No, she's not. She's gonna stay home.

-No? That's good.

-Why? Is there a problem?

-No, no, there's no problem.

As long as you meet in public,

there shouldn't be a problem.

All right.

I mean, it's what everybody tells me.

Yeah, because that's true.

Good luck for the meeting.

Yeah, thanks.

Hey. Hey, baby.

-Hey, where are you?

-I'm at the supermarket.

-What are you cooking?


Oh, yeah? Excellent.

How are you?

How was your day?

It was all right.

They didn't tell me much.

-What time will you be back?

-I'm hoping 9:

I'm sitting in a parking lot right now

but hopefully we'll get moving

and I'm still hoping 9:00.

-Listen, I love you.

-Love you.



Pakistani and Indian troops

are still massing

on the disputed Kashmir border...

Asra, how much time do I have?

It's okay. We've got lots of time.

Don't worry.

Glasses, glasses.

The number you have dialed is not

responding at the moment.

Please try later.

Excuse me.

How far are we going?

-How's it going?


So, it's just helping.

-What is it that you're doing?

-It's a cabin crew job. Qatar Airways.

-That is the toughest job in the world.

-lt is. Waking up at 4:00 in the morning.

-How much are they paying you?

-I love the way she says Urdu.

At least I can say "water"

as opposed to "water."

No-one says "water" here. Okay?

We all say "water."

-Hey, this food is really good.

-Yes, it's very nice.

It's a Cuban dish.



-ls that where you're from?

-No. My mother's Cuban. I'm from Paris.

-Where's that CIA agent, man?

-How do you mean?

All the American journalists

are CIA agents, aren't they?


I work for the Wall Street Journal,

so does that make me a CIA agent?

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John Orloff

John Orloff is an American screenwriter known for creating and adapting complex stories in widely disparate genres. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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