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American actor, director and screenwriter Vincent Gallo will portray a Taliban member in a film being shot around the Dead Sea by Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, who once wrote the script for "Knife in the Water" with Roman Polanski.

Gallo arrived in Israel last week for the shooting of the film, called "The Essence of Killing." The plot follows the story of a Taliban member (Gallo) who lives in Afghanistan, kills three American soldiers and then is taken captive by the Americans. He is transferred to Europe for interrogation but manages to escape from his captors and becomes an escaped convict on a continent he does not know.

Gallo has appeared in Martin Scorsese's film "GoodFellas", Emir Kusturica's "Arizona Dream" and Francis Ford Coppola's, "Tetro," but he is mainly identified with indie American cinema, thanks to two films that he wrote, produced and starred in - "Buffalo 66" which participated in the official competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998, and "the Brown Bunny" which participated in the official competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

The film was received at the festival with loud cries of "boo" and created a stir because of its pornographic motifs.

Gallo is expected to remain in Israel until the end of shooting, at the beginning of January. After shooting in the Dead Sea area, the rest of the movie will be filmed in Norway and Poland. According to Mark Rosenbaum of Transfax Film Productions, who is providing the production services for the Israeli part of the film, two Israeli actors, Zach Cohen and Yiftach Ofir, will participate in "The Essence of Killing" and a third Israeli actor is currently being sought.

Skolimowski is best known for two scripts he wrote at the start of his career - one for Polish director Andrzej Wajda's classic film "Innocent Sorcerers" (1960) and "Knife in the Water" (1962) which was a candidate for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

Last year, his film "Four Nights with Anna" was released after 17 years of gathering dust.