This has on the news all day today. it sickens me that someone is going to make money off this tragedy.
Updated Thu. Dec. 15 2005 6:38 AM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
You do not see the rapes, and much of the violence is implied, but the memories of the brutal killings are still vividly re-hashed in 'Karla' the movie -- based on the lives of school-girl killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.
The film holds close to the actual events of the murders as the script is based on the former couple's court documents and graphic home videos of the victims shown at Bernardo's trial.
Homolka is depicted as a victim of Bernardo but she does get blamed for her roles in the rapes and murders – including the death of her sister, Tammy.
The names of the murdered girls Leslie Mahaffy, 14, and Kristen French, 15, have been changed in the movie but the resemblance of the actors is haunting.
Tim Danson, lawyer for the victim's families, successfully argued for scenes of nudity to be removed but the movie is still very graphic. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has called for people to boycott the film.
CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss set up Canada's first preview screening of the movie for a small general audience -- no reporters, no film critics.
"I sat them down in a room and showed them the film," Bliss said. "They were shocked. They sat in silence as they watched the film."
The over-18 crowd seemed disturbed by the film with some turning their faces away at times.
"Shocking, absolutely. I didn't expect to see the re-creations in that kind of detail," viewer Margaret Pak said.
The acting and production was on par with any Hollywood movie but that may not be enough to get people into the theatre.
"It's a fresh wound. Everyone was so scared back then and it's been in our psyche, in our minds for so long," Laura Wagner said after the film. "I don't think people want to re-live it again."
One viewer, Ani Nersessian, thought the film depicted Homolka more as a victim than a murderer.
"She was shown as a victim and everything that happened was just because she made many stupid mistakes," Nersessian said. "But I think she was much more involved than they showed her to be."
The movie runs for one hour and 40 minutes, leaving some viewers wishing they could get the time back.
"It was profoundly disturbing," Marilyn Demone said regretfully. "I wish I hadn't seen it out of respect to the parents, the families…it's not worth it."
The movie has already been sold to 12 distributors in Europe and there is word that a Canadian deal could come anytime. A limited theatre release will probably be held in Toronto and Montreal. It will be available in some format by early 2006.
With files from CTV's Paul Bliss