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'Hero' star won't attend awards because of war

Zhang Ziyi, star of the Oscar-nominated "Hero," won't attend the Academy Awards Sunday because war in Iraq has left her in no mood to celebrate.

"With war comes bloodshed and death. How can one go to an awards ceremony in a fancy evening gown and smile?" the Beijing Youth Daily on Friday quoted Zhang as saying.

"Hero" director Zhang Yimou, however, says the message of the martial arts epic set in the reign of China's legendary first emperor is even more relevant.

" 'Hero' is a film calling for peace, and at this moment in time, peace is even more important," the director was quoted as saying.