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Director defends film based on German cannibal

July 09, 2004

Rosa von Praunheim
BERLIN — A controversial film director defended Thursday his plans to make a movie based on Germany's notorious cannibal who was jailed for killing and eating a willing victim.

Rosa von Praunheim told the DPA news agency that the film, whose working title is Your Heart on My Mind, would look at 20 years of cannibalism, not just the case of Armin Meiwes, the so-called "cannibal of Rotenburg".

"It's a feature, not bound to the concrete events in Rotenburg," said the producer, whose plans have been criticised as tasteless and pompous.

Meiwes, 42, was jailed for eight and a half years in January for the manslaughter of an engineer he had met over the Internet, but was cleared of murder after the court heard his victim had been seeking "the ultimate kick."

The case fascinated and appalled Germany, and his lawyer said during the trial that there had been interest in a movie and a book.

"Crime concerns us all, including those that go beyond borders that we would only otherwise find in our dreams," Praunheim said.

"As a film producer you have to be curious about everything that is happening in the world or anything that is possible," he said.

"And you also want to try to understand the latent secret desires and beliefs in all this."

The producer, a leading gay activist known for A Virus has no Morals, a film on AIDS, and I am my Own Woman, the story of a transvestite, said his legions of fans would know what to expect.

"People who know my films will also understand that they have a lot of black humour in them," said Praunheim, who has received minor government funding – some 20,000 euros (27,000 dollars) -- to make his film.

Meiwes is thought to be writing his memoirs in jail. He said in pre-trial interviews that he wanted to persuade other people with similar cannibalistic leanings to seek help before it is too late. – Sapa-AFP

Related links stories
German cannibal's story for the big screen [06/07/2004]




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