First, lets start with the director Robert Dornhelm. He did a bunch of light fare in the late 1970's and all of the 1980s. In 1989, in the last days of the Ceausescu regime, a childhood friend of his, Dominic Paraschiv was shot. The doctor misidentified him, falsely accused of being involved in a massacre. The doctor being a member of the anti-communists tied him to a bed, posted a guard to let him die from his gunshot wound. As evidence mounted that he had the wrong man, the doctor stood by his original theory rather than admit the mistake. As the story broke, the international media was still in a hope and glory phase with the overthrow and no one wanted to carry story about a stone cold murder due to judicial incompetence. Dornhelm wrote a movie in tribute to his friend, and does a fantastic job in showing the banality of a the state killing Parashiv and how the media and the society all conspired in acts they would later regret. The analogy Parachiv / Knox, Timisoara massacre / Kercher murder, Clara Weber (the journalist who proved Parachiv was innocent) / Edda Mellas, Romanian anti-Communists / Italian Police, Doctor who originally misidentified Parachiv and lets him die / Mignini, the International Press / International Press is crystal clear. I can't read his mind, but perhaps, hopefully, Dornhelm hopes to do for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito what he was too late to do for Parachiv. I hope that Dornhelm sees that instead of another eulogy / tribute movie this time he will not let Mignini kill pull off his murder to cover his own mistake, this time he will get there before Parachiv dies.
But without question ater the death of Parachiv, Dornhelm is not the same man. The light comedies are gone. He makes the tribute movie to his friend. His very next movie is the story of Marina Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald's widow. That movie takes a conspiratorial view and is sympathetic to Oswald seeing Lee Harvey and Marina as pawns in a broader conspiracy. Over the next few years he does movies about Anne Frank, Spartacus; both victims of state violence, both tried and both guilty. He then does a movie about Michelle Brown. She was an early victim of identity theft. Her thief stole $50,000 in her name; she is accused and the authorities take a bad situation and make it worse. Eventually she becomes a leader in the credit protection acts but only after the US Senate acts, the police were none too helpful. I don't know Dornhelm's work too well, but I do not see a guy who is going to blithely assume that because the Italian police say something its true.
Next lets move onto Hayden Panettiere who has indicated she played Amanda as innocent. While she's not sure about the facts of the case herself and sees the facts as balanced, she is sure that Amanda Knox is no threat to society, never had malicious intent. She also doesn't believe Amanda got a fair trial (link to one interview). Marcia Gay Harden who plays Edda Mellas is appalled at the lies in the newspaper, what the prosecution leaked vs. what the actual case was (link to interview).
Further, Lifetime's brand is women getting screwed over by men. The natural villain for a Lifetime production, even knowing nothing else would be Mignini or Guede.
Its entirely possible I'm wrong. I've made some bad calls before from the crystal ball. And certainly I'd feel better if Candace Dempsey had written the screen play. But every indication I read is that the Guilters are fully justified in their freak out. I'm going to take the liberty to answer their string of questions they have raised.
Like Arline Kercher, Meredith’s mum, we wonder why only the name “Amanda Knox” appears in the title of the film when the victim is named Meredith Kercher. And finally, we wonder why, if Amanda Knox’s family and friends are unassociated with this project, as they claim to be, they are being given an hour of airtime directly following its scheduled showing? (Open letter on true justice protesting the movie)As I mentioned in my earlier article on Amanda Knox and the Shadow they repeat the silly point that the movie should be named after Meredith Kercher, even though the movie is about Knox not Kercher. I addressed this bizarre notion that Knox is not a person in her own right but only a negative image of Kercher in my shadow article. But to use the analogy from Dornhelm in this article, his movie is called, Requiem for Dominic, its named after the man accused wrongly not after the 80 people who died in the Timisoara massacre.
"What possible justification could there ever be for inflicting this kind of pain on the real-life, grieving family of Meredith Kercher?" Saving the life of two kids for one thing. Preventing this sort of injustice from occurring again for another thing.
"Does it enhance our understanding of this heinous crime in any way? No, it does not." Of course it does. Most people who see this movie will know little if anything about the crime and will know far more about it after the movie.
Does it serve to dissuade others from engaging in such acts? Do you believe there are large numbers of people contemplating rape, torture, murders that need to be dissuaded from this course of action through a movie or two? What an odd question.
And then they close with this accusation about a bunch of people they know nothing about. On the contrary, it breeds the kind of callous disregard for human life and lack of empathy that led to this gratuitous act of violence in the first place and that apparently characterizes those who have produced, directed and otherwise participated in the project. The group of people who signed this letter, PMF, delights with open glee in acts of cruelty frequently complementing one another on their success in acting with callous disregard for others. But ignoring that. No one has any idea what led to this act of violence in the first place. It may have been a disregard for human life, it may been lust, it may have been greed, or any of dozens of possible motives. We just don't know that's part of the problem with the case never having been investigated properly.
But, what we do know is the people who produced this movie are good people. I may not think much of Hayden Panettiere as an actress, but as a human being far from callous she's been active in Save the Whales for years. Just to prove how absolutely not callous she is in this video you can see her break down in sobbing tears when she fails to save some dolphins:
You can also hear her being interviewed where she is excited about being arrested by the Japanese because it would give publicity to the cause. She's been active in other environmental causes. And Dornhelm, as I mentioned is someone who changed his life in response to a human tragedy. Marcia Gay Harden who we also mentioned is extremely active in the Red Cross, and is on the board of Hearts of Gold which helps New York's homeless especially homeless children. Valentina Carnelutti who plays Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni has done wonders in fighting against sexual abuse of children. So again we see that the accusers of Knox just make up facts about others.
What I see are more good people, standing up for the truth and holding a light into the darkness that the Migninis of this world wish to create.