BBC scraps de Menezes killing film

In the aftermath of the murder, a cascade of misinformation and lies from the very top down. From Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to the trigger-happy plain-clothes shooters identified only as "carrying a long-barrelled weapon", the actions that day have been exposed as a cover-up of the events that resulted in the extra-judicial execution of an innocent man.

BBC scraps de Menezes killing film

Joined: Jan 24 2006, 10:57 PM

Jan 15 2007, 12:58 PM #1

BBC scraps de Menezes killing film

Vanessa Thorpe, arts and media correspondent
Sunday January 14, 2007
The Observer

The BBC has dropped a politically sensitive drama it was making about the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes by members of Scotland Yard's firearms squad.
The move has distressed members of the innocent Brazilian's family and enraged Katy Jones, the docu-drama's award-winning producer.

'I am extraordinarily disappointed, more than anything for the family. It was devastating for them. We had been told by the BBC it was the most important television commission of the year,' said Jones, who, with Jimmy McGovern, made Hillsborough and Sunday.

'The de Menezes family were right in the middle of a traumatic experience and it was a huge blow for them. I feel very angry and I have urged the BBC to send an apology to them.'
She says the BBC has failed in its duty to complete a sensitive project that unearthed a large amount of investigative material about the police shooting of 27-year-old de Menezes at Stockwell underground station in south London in July 2005.

A second expensive and highly topical docu-drama, dealing with the lives of the 7 July bombers, has also been unexpectedly shelved.

'It was a very well developed drama piece, but it was a question of timing and the mix of programmes,' said Roly Keating, controller of BBC2. He denied that the decision had anything to do with the difficult or dark content uncovered by researchers working with militant Islamic groups.

The decision to drop the two dramas may mark a move away from communicating complicated and important news stories through fictionalised accounts. 'There is a tendency to want to make a docu-drama when what is needed is some really tough frontline documentary reporting,' said George Entwistle, head of current affairs. 'Sometimes it is used as a less strenuous option, although this is not the case in the best docu-dramas.

'My sense is that there has been a lot of good BBC journalism in this area anyway. For instance, we had a Panorama on the de Menezes shooting. The 7 July development work was good background journalism.'

Keating agreed that researchers working on this project had unearthed important information about the bombers which, he said, may still be used at some time.

Jane Tranter, head of drama, said of the 7 July project: 'I would say it is on hold. We have never said we are not making it.' She added that in the case of the de Menezes film the fact that the story was heavily reported on the news at the time meant she had to ask what a docu-drama could bring to viewers.

Source: The Observer 14th Jan 2007
I wonder if the Producer, Katy Jones would respond to any questions that we may send her?
In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, "just to keep the people frightened." -- George Orwell, 1984

Joined: Nov 26 2005, 01:46 AM

Jan 15 2007, 01:06 PM #2

Numeral also posted articles relating to this and the dropping of the 7/7 documentary here: ... p=11755754

Jimmy McGovern would also be worth approaching.
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Joined: Dec 4 2005, 05:55 PM

Jan 15 2007, 01:13 PM #3

Bridget @ Jan 15 2007, 01:06 PM wrote: Numeral also posted articles relating to this and the dropping of the 7/7 documentary here: ... p=11755754

Jimmy McGovern would also be worth approaching.
I asked Mark Townsend for an email address for Vanessa Thorpe. No reply yet.
Follow the numbers.

Joined: Dec 4 2005, 05:55 PM

Feb 14 2007, 12:12 AM #4

Menezes death becomes film drama

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.

"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.

"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."


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.

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."
Follow the numbers.

Joined: Dec 17 2006, 04:26 AM

Mar 4 2007, 03:01 AM #5

The following is interesting. A film is to be made of De Menezes:

'The as-yet-untitled feature will be a 'United 93' style dramatisation of the events that lead up to the Brazilian electrician being shot at Stockwell tube station in July 2005.'

This tells us we can expect the reality to be obscured by fictionising

Note also the BBC (the same BBC that 'lost' the 9-11 files, proving theys be too incompetent to undertake such a project. as well as too biaed toward the police) has decided not to take part in making the film... ... 95,00.html

Unfortuntely, the film makers are playing it safe, and wont examine the politics around the murder...presumably because it is safer for them not to. What we will get will be one more tedious crime drama...that will ignore the REAL drama of why the police murdered him, refused to tell the public the media was story (aka eye witness Mark Whitbys lies about the thick coat), took revenge against the brave woman who leaked the truth to the press (not the BBC!), failed to arrest those involved and ended up promoting the murderer and others.

None of this will be in the film.

Joined: Dec 4 2005, 05:55 PM

Mar 4 2007, 03:11 AM #6

Some history here and here.
Follow the numbers.

Joined: Nov 6 2006, 05:39 PM

Dec 19 2008, 05:19 PM #7

Mentorn are also producing a Stockwell drama
BBC and C4 to make de Menezes dramas
26 January 2006

Channel 4 and the BBC are to court controversy by probing the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes for two major docu-dramas.

C4 has lined up the Mentorn team behind The Hamburg Cell and The Government Inspector for its commission.

The drama will retell the events of 21 July last year, when de Menezes was shot at Stockwell Tube station by police who mistakenly believed he was a terror suspect. Filming is expected to begin later this year, for broadcast in 2007.

The untitled programme is being executive produced by head of drama David Aukin, who executive produced The Government Inspector, and researched by Alice Perman. The pair worked together on The Hamburg Cell. Mentorn's Hal Vogel will produce and the writer is Neil McKay, whose drama Innocents was directed by Peter Kosminsky.

Meanwhile, the BBC has commissioned Maverick and Multi Media Arts to research the story for a 90-minute BBC1 drama, working titled Stockwell. The programme-makers are working with the lawyers representing the dead man's family, as well as the de Menezes campaign team.

BBC joint head of independent drama Lucy Richer commissioned the show and is executive producing alongside Juliette Howell from Maverick.

The shooting was investigated by the Police, and the Crown Prosecution Service is considering whether to charge the officers involved. Both dramas are unlikely to air until legal proceedings are complete.

Cop that! Sir Ian faces double trial by television

By Guy Adams
Friday, 17 March 2006

There are now so many clouds darkening Sir Ian Blair's horizon that it's almost tempting to feel sorry for him.

A week after a Panorama reconstruction reopened the wound of the Stockwell shooting, I learn that the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes is to be the subject of not one but two TV dramas.

The first, for Channel 4, is being made by Mentorn. They have "form", having last year made The Government Inspector, a hard-hitting dramatisation of events leading to the death of Dr David Kelly.

The second show, recently OK-ed by the BBC, is called Stockwell, and will be written by Richard Curson Smith, a specialist in hard-hitting screenplays, whose Pinochet in Suburbia is screened next week.

Both projects will further undermine Britain's most senior policeman, pictured, who was recently forced to apologise for secretly recording telephone conversations with Lord Goldsmith.

"The BBC is co-operating with the de Menezes family, who have been strongly critical of Sir Ian's role in the affair," says a friend of Curson Smith. "At this stage, it even looks like having a Brazilian director."

Either way, Curson Smith's script will no doubt be keenly studied by BBC's director general, Mark Thompson, who just happens to be a close chum of Sir Ian.

Perhaps that explains why the BBC was keeping tight-lipped yesterday. " The project is in development, so there isn't much we can say," they told me.


26 MARCH 2008



Chairs’ Meetings between: 30 January 2008 – 21 March 2008

This note sets out the main external meetings or events I have attended since the Commission last met.

07 February 2008

Meeting with Roseanne Flynn (Mentorn Television) regarding Stockwell drama documentary

I met with Ms Flynn  to discuss the Stockwell investigation in advance of a possible drama documentary

"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro