I don't want to go on the cart...
September 6, 2004 1:58 AM   Subscribe

The quite amazing true story of the man on which Spieldberg's new Terminal is based. A tale of Iran, torture, McDonalds' breakfasts, dry-cleaning, and a man who really doesn't seem that well. And who doesn't meet and fall in love with Catherine Zeta Jones.
posted by humuhumu (13 comments total)
The truth behind the story is that anyone could go mad.
Especially in a transit lounge.
You make your own reality.
posted by asok at 2:51 AM on September 6, 2004

Funny how real life seldom has a Hollywood ending.
posted by tommasz at 7:45 AM on September 6, 2004

If I wanted real life, I'd read a newspaper.

If I want entertainment, I go to a movie. :)
posted by shepd at 8:11 AM on September 6, 2004

too sad...why aren't the French placing him in housing or giving him support services? where are the social workers?
posted by amberglow at 8:17 AM on September 6, 2004

"and a man who really doesn't seem that well..."


"My parents, I suppose, are Americans. If Clark Gable says he's my father - I don't accept unless he has documents to prove."

Maybe he just has the dryest, most sardonic sense of humor on the planet, and he's the only one who gets the joke.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:40 AM on September 6, 2004

So in what country is The Terminal new this week?
posted by esoterica at 9:07 AM on September 6, 2004

Here is an older article about this I found a little while ago when the movie came out. My girlfriend had told me the story was true, and about a Persian guy living in an airport, but I had my doubts. She was right.
posted by chunking express at 9:40 AM on September 6, 2004

So in what country is The Terminal new this week?

It's new everywhere except the US and Canada. The UK, Australia, Italy, and Norway are among the countries in which it's being released this week. In most of the rest of the world it's not even out yet.

Assuming the question was seriously asked, you can always find this information in IMDB.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:01 AM on September 6, 2004

What asok said. The author of the Guardian article seems to be focused on trying to find the "origin" of Alfred's descent into mental illness. The truth of the matter seems to be that anyone who has lived in his own head for so long in such a Kafkaesque predicament will slowly and slowly become more detached from reality.
posted by deanc at 10:47 AM on September 6, 2004

No one seems willing to make him leave, so in essence they are contributing to his mental illness. Killing him with kindness, in a way.
posted by tommasz at 12:29 PM on September 6, 2004

He seems like a modern-day Emperor Norton. Although I'm not certain what making him leave will do. It is perhaps quite likely that he is less of a strain on public services giving interviews for honoraria than living on other forms of charity.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:25 PM on September 6, 2004

My brother wanted to go and meet the guy when we landed at CDG in August... after reading this I can't say I regret our not doing so.
posted by clevershark at 5:09 PM on September 6, 2004

Speaking of Emperor Norton, I met his one of his young relatives who is continuing the tradition. Fun guy, strange, but fun.
posted by Derek at 1:58 AM on September 7, 2004

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