ZEITOUN, The Animated Film

Jonathan Demme has lined up financing for his long-dreamed-of project, an animated movie based on Dave Eggers’ post-Katrina book, Zeitoun, (McSweeny’s Books, 2009). It is projected for release some time in 2014.

The book features Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American who refused to evacuate New Orleans when the storm hit. Using a borrowed canoe, he rescued neighbors and their pets. Suddenly, he was arrested and accused of being a terrorist and held for nearly a month. Eggers, Zeitoun and his wife were interviewed in 2010 about those events.

Unfortunately, the story was recently tarnished when it was learned that Zeitoun plead guilty to domestic abuse charges last year, leading the L.A. Times to speculate on whether the combined pressure of the after-effects of the storm and public attention had adversely affected the man who was considered a hero and a “good husband.”

The book was recently selected as the 2012 Greenwich [CT] Reads title and it was the 2010 San Francisco Reads selection.

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