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While in Europe recently I heard about a documentary Martin Scorsese was making about Airbus, the European consortium of British, French, Spanish and German aircraft manufacturers formed in 1970 to rival the dominant American companies like Boeing. Of course, Scorsese recently memorialized an American aerospace pioneer with The Aviator. Today via Variety comes more details about the new project:

“Scorsese will team with Spanish docu producer-director Jose Luis Lopez-Linares (Un instante en la vida ajena, Strangers to Themselves), who will take a co-director credit.

Per Spanish monthly movie magazine Fotogramas, the doc will establish a parallel between the creation of Airbus airliners and a cathedral, recording the contribution of a factory worker, engineer and architect. Pic will shoot in Toulouse, France; Bremen, Germany; and Cadiz, Spain.

The Airbus docu is the latest project from Coleccion Inmortales, a joint venture created in 2003 by Madrid’s Morena Films and Fernando Sulichin’s Paris-based Rule 8 to produce theatrical docs directed by maverick filmmakers.”

The Variety story runs, in what may just be a strange fluke of timing, on the day, according to the Washington Post, that the “Bush administration announced… that it planned to bring a case before the World Trade Organization charging the 25-nation European Union with providing illegal subsidies to Airbus.” According to the paper, the action at the WTO will most likely trigger a competing trade case accusing the U.S. of illegally subsidizing Boeing.

On a certain level, the trade war is a doc-maker’s dream, and it will be interesting to see if there’s room for a discussion of the geopolitics inside Scorsese’s church.

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