Lena Dunham has been an interesting figure in pop culture over the past decade. Her HBO series “Girls” became a critical darling, earning wide support over the television industry. She also champions films directed by women, including her own career as a director of both film and television. Yet the actress, writer, and director also found controversy as well. A large part of this came from the very white, very privileged background that “Girls” represented. This makes Dunham an odd choice to write the upcoming film based on a novel by Melissa Flemming. Flemming’s book “A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea” tells the story of a Syrian refugee fighting for survival.
According to Deadline, Dunham will write the script for Bad Robot, Amblin Partners and Paramount Pictures. J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg will co-produce the film as well. The book follows a Syrian refugee Doaa Al Zamel. Al Zamel left Syria with her two children. Once they reached Egypt, the political climate became too contentious, and she attempted to escape the country for Europe. However, after four days at sea, Al Zamel and her daughters were shipwrecked. With a single floaty ring to keep them alive, the mother and her children floated through the ocean.
The story of Al Zamel should absolutely be brought to the masses, as it is one of courage and survival. Dunham also has skill as a writer. That much is clear. Whether or not she is the right person to tell this story is another matter. In an age where authenticity has become paramount, Dunham does not seem like an ideal fit for this particular screenplay. That said, crazier things have happened, and with Dunham’s skill, it could become a strong screenplay.