Alex Gibney to direct Salman Rushdie docu based on his memoir

Wednesday, 05 Jun, 2024
Novelist Salman Rushdie was stabbed 15 times in New York in 2022. (Photo courtesy: X@SalmanRushdie)

Oscar-winning documentary film director and producer Alex Gibney will be directing a documentary centered around India-born British-American novelist Salman Rushdie, based on his memoir 'Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder'. Gibney is known for making films such as 'Taxi to the Dark Side' and 'Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief'.

Tentatively titled 'Knife', the documentary is a gripping account of surviving an attempt on his life 30 years after a fatwa was ordered against him. The book, released in April, not only details the author's life and career but also recounts the 2022 assassination attempt against the Indian-born, British-American novelist and the long recovery that followed.

Rushdie was stabbed 15 times in Chautauqua, New York, by a 24-year-old New Jersey man with a knife. The attack targeted Rushdie’s neck, eye, and chest, causing him to collapse on stage during a talk he was giving at Chautauqua’s amphitheater stage. He lost vision in one eye and was left incapacitated in one hand.

Rushdie was quoted as saying by Variety: “It’s a story in which hatred, the knife as a metaphor of hate, is answered, and finally overcome, by love. I’m delighted we have Alex working with us on this film. We have long admired his brilliant work, from ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’ and ‘Going Clear’ to his recent portrait of Paul Simon. There couldn’t be a better person for the job”.

To capture Rushdie’s life, Gibney will move between Griffiths' raw, intimate footage, movie clips, excerpts from Rushdie’s books, new interviews, and archival images, including the fatwa called on Rushdie by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 for his book 'The Satanic Verses'.

“It’s a delight and an honor to make this film about Salman Rushdie, an extraordinary novelist, a funny, poignant, and resilient man, and one of the world’s most courageous defenders of freedom of speech. The opportunity to make this film about his recovery - in the broadest sense of the term - comes at a critical time. It gives me hope" Gibney told Variety.

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