They Killed Sister Dorothy

Eye on the Oscars: Documentaries

COUNTRY: U.S.

DIRECTOR: Daniel Junge also helmed “Chiefs” and “Iron Ladies of Liberia.”

SUBJECT: An activist nun, Sister Dorothy Stang, is brutally murdered in Brazil.

FINANCING: Approximately $600,000, funded by grants, in-kind industry support and investments from private sources.

DISTRIB: Preemed at South by Southwest, where it took home the Grand Jury and Audience awards. Skedded for HBO telecast in 2009.

HELMER COMMENTS: “I read about this story in the New York Times and thought, what an incredible story for a movie and also what a great backdrop for a poignant documentary,” Junge says. “But I wasn’t just going to pack my bags and go to Brazil. I did some research and found out that Dorothy’s brother is from my hometown of Denver, Colo. So I got in touch with him, and it turned out he was leaving for Brazil in three days. So three days later I was on the plane with him. Once we got there, I was worried about gaining access to all sides of the story. That was the hardest part of this film, negotiating that trust with both sides.”

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