Thursday 24 February 2005

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) - ickleReview (TV)

Documentary about Aileen Wuornos, the woman convicted of murdering seven men in Florida. Director Nick Broomfield conducts a number of interviews with Wuornos, showing her in alarming states of distress, confusion, paranoia, calm, rage and, at times, bordering on madness. The interviews are the most compelling parts of the film, Wuornos's eyes as deep as a shark's. It's hard to tell when she's being honest. At first she claims the murders were in self-defence; then she confesses that they were in cold blood; then again, when she thinks Broomfield's camera is off, that they were in self-defence. This woman has been betrayed by almost everyone whom she was close to, including these film-makers. In some ways, this is a pro-death penalty film, only in as much as it seems like a relief finally to be executed. That was why she tried to come clean: to accelerate her inevitable death at the discretion of Florida State Governor, Jeb Bush. There is a particularly moving interview with her biological mother, three days before Wuornos's execution, in which the mother claims not to have been aware that her daughter used to sleep outside in the snow and the woods as a young girl, shortly after she gave birth to a child at 13, which was given up for adoption.

Nugget: a compelling companion film to Monster, the Hollywood movie made out of her story, in which Charlize Theron played the part of Aileen Wuornos, and Christina Ricci was her partner, Tyria Moore ("Selby" in the film), who colluded with the Florida police to sell the movie rights.

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