After Netflix’s Dahmer drama received harsh criticism, the director of ITVX’s Love & Death has spoken out about his desire to avoid being ‘exploitative’ in the real crime series.
Love & Death, starring WandaVision’s Elizabeth Olsen and a cast that includes Lily Rabe and Jesse Plemons, portrays the true story of Candy Montgomery and a horrific axe murder that occurred in Texas in 1980.
The show’s debut is the latest in a long line of real crime dramatisations, the most recent of which centred on Jeffrey Dahmer and starred as the legendary serial murderer Evan Peters.
Last year, a person claiming to be a family member of one of Dahmer’s victims came out against Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, stating, ‘It’s retraumatising over and over again, and for what? ‘How many films/shows/documentaries do we require?’
During an interview, Love & Death director and executive producer Lesli Linka Glatter discussed the criticism of true crime drama and whether dramatised versions of these actual-life, tragic situations might be justified.
‘That is a very great question and a tricky one, because it really is kind of incident by incident, show by show,’ she answered.
‘I in no way want to be exploitative about the material. These are real people. This happened to real human beings and for me.’
Lesli described how the story’s ‘examination of the inner mind’ was important to her.
‘I think it’s how you approach it, but I think you have to approach it very delicately, because these are real lives involved,’ she continued.
‘Obviously Dahmer hit a huge chord. I think there is something about crime… we’re in a very complicated world now, where the Earth has moved and is unstable in so many ways. We can’t even agree on what is truth anymore, what is fact.
‘These are cases that happened in the past most of the time, and there is some solution, even if it took years to figure it out. There’s some relief in that, you know? So I don’t know – there is definitely a fascination in that arena that I haven’t seen before.’
Coincidentally, Candy Montgomery was the subject of two shows about her in a short period of time: Elizabeth’s Love & Death and Jessica Biel’s Candy on Hulu, in which she portrayed the same part.
Lesli recounted how’shocked’ they were to learn Candy was in the works while they were just two months into filming Love & Death.
‘We thought we had covered our bases because we licensed the two articles and the non-fiction book Evidence of Love, so we thought, “We’ve got this covered,”’ she said.
However, given Candy’s story is ‘public domain material’, that meant that ‘anyone can do anything’.
‘We were not going to stop – we already had a very clear idea [of] how we were approaching this story, and they approached it completely differently.’
Lesli added that while she wished that the Hulu show Candy hadn’t been made, ‘there’s nothing you can do about it’.
‘So we just went ahead with the way we were approaching it. We didn’t try to compete, meaning they were rushing it through and we thought, “We can’t do it that way.” We’re doing seven hours, we have a very different take on this, so we just have to stay the path.’
Love & Death is available to watch on ITVX.
Source My Celebrity Life.