A Mighty Heart director Michael Winterbottom has rejected criticisms that his film is anti-Guantanamo "propaganda".

The movie, about the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl by terrorists in Pakistan, was attacked by Mr Pearl's father Judea Pearl earlier in the week.

Dr Pearl wrote in an article for the Guardian newspaper that the film is guilty of "the paradox of moral equivalence" because it opens with shots of Guantanamo and is similar to Winterbottom's previous work, The Road to Guantanamo.

He told the Today programme this morning that he was concerned people would "get the wrong message" from the film, "confusing the evil of terrorism with the mistakes made by those who are fighting terrorism".

But Winterbottom, speaking on the same programme, was adamant his film was not trying to sell any message.

"It's not propaganda. I was trying to tell the story of primarily Mariane Pearl, based on Mariane Pearl's book, and her response to the type of situation she found herself in when her husband was kidnapped and then killed," he said.

"It has no reference to Guantanamo in it and I think it's perhaps a confusion, a kind of mixing of the fact that I made one film about Guantanamo and this film about Mariane Pearl and Daniel Pearl."

He added: "The film isn't a political film, it's not a film about American foreign policy or Muslim extremism."

21/09/2007 16:06:31