Talk about camera-ready. A month after five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian-born doctor were released from a Libyan prison (they were held for allegedly infecting children with HIV), it was announced that their saga would become a feature film. The 2009 project, The Benghazi Six, named for the city where they worked, will be produced by the U.S.-based studio Sixth Sense Productions, Inc.
In 1999, the health care workers were imprisoned and in 2004 sentenced to life for, prosecutors said, intentionally spreading HIV to 438 Libyan youth through contaminated blood. The workers maintained their innocence, claiming they were tortured into confessing. After years of political negotiations, a deal was struck between the European Union and the Libyan government to free them this past July. “What happened to these nurses was a grave injustice,” Sam Feuer, the film’s producer, told POZ. “We were drawn to this story because they were being used by [Libya’s leader] Muammar Gaddaffi as political pawns.”
Last December, Feuer and his production partner, Richard Harding, started researching the ordeal and met a friend of the medics, who arranged phone conversations with the prisoners. “From there, we secured the rights to the story,” he explained. At press time, no actors or a director were tapped for the drama, but Feuer says he is in talks with The Chronicles of Narnia’s screenwriter Ann Peacock to pen the medics’ tale. We smell Oscar—or at least Angelina Jolie.