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In defense of ‘Billy The Kid’

Letter to the editor

To the editor:

After reading John Anderson’s review of “Billy The Kid” (Daily Variety, April 27) I’m compelled to defend the film and its filmmaker.

There are no harsher condemnations to a documentarian than to be accused of staging events or exploiting subjects. Anderson says Jennifer Venditti did both. In fact, she did neither.

I have seen every moment of footage and, as editor, worked extremely closely with Jennifer. If he had spoken to anyone involved in making the film,he could have known nothing in the film was written or staged.

Mr. Anderson calls “Billy the Kid,” “…an appallingly callous act of exploitation.”Jennifer’s care for Billy (and Penny) was always first and foremost on our minds during the editing process. Endless discussion and deliberation was given to make sure her genuine admiration and love for Billy was the lasting reflection from the film.

Michael Levine

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