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Cockburns' 'Casino' May Be on a Roll

Leslie and Andrew Cockburn, seen here in 1997. (Annie Groer/The Washington Post)Enlarge This Image

Washington power couple Leslie and Andrew Cockburn have yet another high-profile coup: Their newest film has been selected for the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival this spring, according to sources close to the process.

The husband-and-wife team -- both journalists, authors and filmmakers -- co-produced "American Casino" and spent the last year exploring the subprime mortgage meltdown. A spokesman for the festival said yesterday that the 2009 roster will be formally announced next month; the Cockburns had no comment.

"American Casino" (not to be confused with the 2004 reality show of the same name) sounds perfect for the New York festival with a subject literally at its doorstep: How Wall Street brokered one of the biggest financial collapses in history.

Olivia Wilde arrives at the Golden Globes in January. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Enlarge This Image

According to the film's Web site, the 90-minute documentary interviews many of the players: bankers who sold the risky securities to "idiots," brokers who pushed junk loans, investors who profited from foreclosures, and homeowners who lost everything. The film argues that African Americans and other minorities were disproportionately targeted and includes the city of Baltimore's lawsuit against Wells Fargo.

"This is the civil rights issue of the 21st century," John Relman, the Washington-based lawyer representing Baltimore in the lawsuit, says on the Web site.
"American Casino" is the latest prescient concept for the couple, who produced 1991's "The War We Left Behind," about economic sanctions that destabilized Iraq, and the 1997 feature "The Peacemaker" (with George Clooney and Nicole Kidman), about a nuclear terrorist attack on New York.

Alas, "American Casino" will probably not include a cameo by Olivia Wilde, the Cockburns' 24-year-old daughter. After bouncing around Hollywood in a series of eye-catching roles in shows that tanked, the gorgeous actress landed a regular gig as Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley on "House."

By The Reliable Source  |  February 10, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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