UK & World News
Natascha Kampusch's Cellar Ordeal Shown In Film
A film based on the story of kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch has premiered in Vienna, showing her being raped by the captor who beat and starved her during an eight-and-a-half year ordeal.
Ms Kampusch was snatched on her way to school at the age of 10 by Wolfgang Priklopil and held in a cell under his garage near Vienna until she escaped in 2006.
The case made headlines in Austria and abroad. Priklopil committed suicide after Ms Kampusch escaped.
The upcoming film, titled 3,096 Days, is based on Ms Kampusch's autobiography of the same name.
It portrays her captivity in a windowless cellar, where she was often deprived of food for days at a time.
The emaciated Ms Kampusch - who weighed just 84lbs (38kgs) at one point in 2004 - keeps a diary written on toilet paper concealed in a box.
One entry reads: "At least 60 blows in the face. Ten to 15 nausea-inducing fist blows to the head. One strike with the fist with full weight to my right ear."
The movie shows occasional moments that approach tenderness, such as when Priklopil presents her with a cake for her 18th birthday or buys her a dress as a gift.
He then immediately goes on to chide her for not knowing how to waltz with him.
Antonia Campbell-Hughes, who plays the teenaged Ms Kampusch, said she had tried to portray "the strength of someone's soul, the ability of people to survive".
The British actress said she had not met Ms Kampusch during the making of the film or since.
"It was a very isolated time, it was a bubble of time, and I wanted to keep that very focused," she told journalists as she arrived for the Vienna premiere on Monday.
Ms Kampusch attended the premiere, looking composed as she posed for pictures. She declined to give interviews.
The film, made at the Constantin Film studios in Bavaria, Germany, also stars Amy Pidgeon as the 10-year-old Kampusch and Danish actor Thure Lindhardt as Priklopil.
The director was German-American Sherry Hormann, who made her English-language debut with the 2009 move Desert Flower, an adaptation of the autobiography of Somali-born model and anti-female circumcision activist Waris Dirie.
The Kampusch case was followed two years later by that of Josef Fritzl, an Austrian who held his daughter captive in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children with her.
The film goes on general release on Thursday.
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