Princess Diana death film stirs up Cannes festival

Tue May 10, 2011 4:51pm EDT
 
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By Mike Collett-White

CANNES, France (Reuters) - A documentary film that features a paparazzi photograph of Princess Diana dying after a car crash in Paris in 1997 has stirred controversy, three days before it is shown to the media and potential buyers in Cannes.

"Unlawful Killing," directed by British actor Keith Allen and backed by Mohamed al-Fayed, whose son Dodi died with Diana, is due to be screened at the Cannes film festival on Friday.

A spokesman for the film's backers sought to play down the significance of the controversial image being aired, after a friend of Princess Diana expressed anger at the movie.

"The picture has been published in full before, in many parts of the world," the spokesman said in an email to Reuters.

"We acquired the image from an Italian magazine, which had already published it in full. It is also widely available on the web. Only in Britain did the press choose to black out her face.

"Our film is not being shown in the UK and the trailer is only viewable in the UK on the official movie website. We are therefore not publishing anything that the rest of the world has not already seen elsewhere."

But friends of the princess, whose death marked a low point in the British monarchy's popularity with the public, reacted angrily.

"If this is true this is absolutely disgusting," said Rosa Monckton, who went on holiday with Diana a few weeks before she died.   Continued...