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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 14:53 GMT
Menezes death becomes film drama
Jean Charles de Menezes in 2001
Jean Charles was shot at Stockwell station by anti-terrorism officers
A drama about a Brazilian man killed by police in London is being filmed by a UK studio with Stephen Frears, who made The Queen, as executive producer.

Mango Films will focus on events before the death of Jean Charles de Menezes - mistaken for a suicide bomber - and the impact on London's Brazilian community.

The project was originally offered to the BBC but it decided not to proceed.

Director Henrique Goldman said it would be a "human" story rather than taking a political stance on the death in 2005.

And people would understand the rights and wrongs "very, very strongly in their bones without any preaching", he told the BBC News website.

As soon as I think of the British police, I think of The Bill. Dramatically, the British police are very, very boring
Henrique Goldman
Film director

"Jean Charles brought over a group of cousins from Brazil. He wanted to live in Brazil, even though he was here, so he brought Brazil to him.

"He paid for them to come here, so we're talking to the people who were directly involved in his life.

"It's a film about how their lives were changed by this tragic event," Mr Goldman, 45, said.

"I think the public knows a lot about this story, but they don't know who Jean Charles was, and who suffered because he died.

A shrine to Jean Charles de Menezes in London
The Brazilian died two weeks after bombings in London

"That's what we want to tell in this film."

He said he was not interested in focusing on the role of the police in the 27-year-old's death.

"As soon as I think of the British police, I think of The Bill. Dramatically, the British police are very, very boring.

"The Brazilian police would be much more interesting - in the same year, the Brazilian police killed more than 2,000 people and didn't have to apologise.

"I don't find the British police so interesting, no matter how dishonestly they behaved in this event."

Prosecution

Mr Menezes died at Stockwell Tube station in south London on 22 July 2005.

This was a fortnight after the suicide bombings in London which killed 52 people, and the day after an alleged attempt to detonate explosives on the city's transport network.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to bring charges of murder or manslaughter against any of the officers involved.

Matozinhos Otone Da Silva and Maria Otone de Menezes
Jean Charles's parents want justice over their son's death in 2005
However, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is to be prosecuted under health and safety laws.

Mr Goldman said the story would begin at the time the electrician left Brazil for the final time - about three months before he was killed - and would also cover the year after his death.

"We're scheduled to film this summer. Hopefully in Berlin next year, we'll be at the film festival - that's what I'm hoping for," he added.

The BBC confirmed that the project had been "in development" with the corporation for a time but did not elaborate on why it was subsequently rejected.

"Some projects get made and some don't," a spokeswoman said. "It went through the natural course of development, which was just the same as many other projects."


SEE ALSO
Menezes officers return to duty
28 Jul 06 |  London
Body of shot Brazilian flown home
28 Jul 05 |  Americas



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