South Bank Show

Sunday, 24 May 2009, 10:15PM – 11:15PM

The South Bank Show profiles the BAFTA-winning film-maker Peter Kosminsky, the controversial and headline-grabbing director of such incendiary TV factual drama as No Child of Mine, Warriors and The Government Inspector. Melvyn Bragg talks in depth to Peter about his unique career and film-making technique: an approach that blends fact and fiction, drama and journalism.

Peter speaks about the meticulous research he carries out for each of his projects, which he views as dramatic interpretations of real events. He discusses how he found inspiration for his controversial dramatisation of Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair in his 2005 film The Government Inspector, his views on suicide bombers, and the psychological effect that making a film about child abuse had on him.

The South Bank Show travels back to Ahmici in Bosnia with Peter, the setting for his moving war film Warriors – a widely praised investigation of the emotional impact of the 1993 conflict, on the British peacekeeping forces. Here Peter returns to a village he visited 11 years ago as research for the film. When he first went there, it was war torn with few inhabitants. This time, completely by chance, he found the house where one of the main massacres took place: a house he had been unable to find on his first visit. In Ahmici, Peter explains how trips like this helped him and the writer Leigh Jackson visualise details, for example a pair of white ankle socks on a washing line outside a bombed out house which was then written into the script.

Peter takes The South Bank Show to a room used to wash the dead in a mosque in Leeds, which was used for filming Britz. He wrote this into the script as a major psychological turning point for his main character, when he learnt that one of the main Muslim burial customs is, for relatives and friends of the deceased to wash the body with their own hands before burial.

Contributors include: Mark Rylance, Matthew MacFadyen, and the actress Brooke Kinsella talking about the sensitive issues surrounding the 1997 child abuse film No Child Of Mine, a film that Brooke appeared in when only thirteen.

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