Lying in the Sun



Maddie movie outrage

A DISTURBING British film about the abduction of a little girl on a family holiday has sparked outrage after its director drew parallels with the Madeleine McCann case.

By: Tracey Kandohla

Published: Sun, July 14, 2013e film about the abduction of a girl on holiday has sparked outrage

Actor Mark Harris stars in and directs Abducted, an independent 90-minute film which will be released later this year in cinemas.

The 40-year-old father of three has said he tried to emulate the feelings of Gerry McCann during the production.

And he suggests the film may help the search for Madeleine, who was kidnapped from a holiday home in Portugal six years ago.

Mr McCann and his wife Kate declined to comment but a family friend said: "It is outrageous to suggest parallels between what is portrayed in this film and what happened to Madeleine.

"Kate and Gerry won't dignify it with a comment. It could even HINDER the search for Madeleine."

Mr Harris, a successful amateur boxer with tattoos on his biceps, pulls no punches in showing the dark reality of child trafficking.

The film tells the fictional story of a British family who rent a home in Los Angeles for a holiday, not realising violent people smugglers have installed hidden cameras to watch their every move.

He plays the father, Matt Hollis, who is out shopping when two abductors snatch his five-year-old daughter Lara and savagely attack his wife Alison.

Mr Harris wrote the script and raised the £750,000 for the project.

The film was shot in south London and Los Angeles, where he investigated child trafficking himself by reading FBI files and meeting officials with the charity Saving Innocence, whose endeavours he supports.

Mr Harris, who recently played a cheeky chappy role in the horse racing comedy Outside Bet, starring Bob Hoskins, told the Sunday Express: "I was taken aback by how rife trafficking of kids abroad is today."

Kate and Gerry won't dignify it with a comment. It could even hinder the search for Madeleine.

A family friend of the McCann's

As part of his research he studied the McCann case and deliberately cast two of the fictional abductors as they looked like two men featured in artists' impressions.

Those individuals are still being sought in connection with Madeleine's abduction.

Explaining his thinking, he said: "This was not for dramatic effect. It was because I felt it may bring, in some small way, even more awareness of the case. If the film prompts someone to come forward with information in relation to the case that would be great.

"After interviewing victims, I tried to evoke some of the feelings they and Gerry McCann would have felt.

"However you can never really know what these poor people have had to suffer - you can only give your version and try your best to reflect the breakdowns and pain they must endure every day.

"I wanted to make this film something I could be proud of, to make sure that the plight of these victims and the McCanns was not forgotten."

But people who see the film will find difficulty relating the fictional character Matt Hollis to Gerry McCann, who has won admiration for his dignified determination to find his daughter.

In the film, Hollis takes murderous revenge against those involved in the abduction.
14th July 2013

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