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I AM HEATH LEDGER: Luna Cinema Premiere May 9, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , trackback

From the Sydney Morning Herald: Michael Idato

Leaving I AM HEATH LEDGER Photo Bohdan Warchomij

In the darkness of a Los Angeles theatrette, the elf-like figure of Heath Ledger dances from side to side, all impish grin and dangerous thought. Up there, with a still affecting presence and the power to slay with a sidelong glance, it’s easy to see how Hollywood fell in love with him.

But this strange, celluloid second life in the documentary I Am Heath Ledger might never have come to be, had filmmakers Derik Murray and Adrian Buitenhuis not come across a vast trove of material filmed by Ledger himself.

“Heath was in his 20s, he was creative, he loved film and he turned the camera on himself and his environment,” Murray says. “He was passionate about life and the people around him.”

Hayley Eckker and Kate Ledger Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Initially, both the Ledger family and Matt Amato, Ledger’s production partner in the art collective The Masses, rejected the offer to transform what amounted to the home movies of the late actor into a documentary.

But after Amato spoke to Ledger’s former partner and the mother of his daughter Matilda, actress Michelle Williams, it was Williams who suggested that perhaps the time was right to acknowledge Ledger’s artistry.

“We have for the last nine years had offer after offer and it wasn’t until it came through Matt and we had the blessing of Michelle that I sat up and took notice,” Ledger’s sister Kate said.

“It’s been cathartic for all of us,” she said. “I think it’s amazing we can give this to the world and they can see how brilliant he was and what he truly was about.”

“It’s been very emotional for us as well,” Kate added. “It drags everything back up again, the emotions, it’s been incredibly difficult but therapeutic as well.”

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

“Our focus is celebrating a life, that really is our focus,” Murray said. “These individuals get to the top of the mountain, many of us are in awe of what they’ve done but we haven’t understood the challenges. Who were they? What makes them tick?”

“You have to be sensitive,” Murray adds. “Family members and close friends are obviously going to be protective. What’s really important is that we’re here to tell this inspirational story.”

This very good and important documentary blends footage of Ledger- much of it shot himself with interviews from those close to him, to create a sensitive, optimistic film about an amazingly creative and successful actor cut short in his prime.  It was so important to have Heath’s family at his event, and to learn much about Heath. There were more than a few tears shed at the screening in Perth.

Photos Bohdan Warchomij

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