Directed by Francois Pomès, the documentary is based on an exclusive DNA research conducted by Ludovic Orlando, an expert in molecular archaeology working in Southern France. Orlando used a hair sample from Monroe which was provided by John Reznikoff, a renown auctioneer and authenticator, as well a saliva sample from the great-grandchild of Monroe’s suspected father, Charles Stanley Gifford.
The documentary weaves archive footage and interviews chronicling Monroe’s desperate efforts to find her father and connect with him, as well as the scientific journey to come up with DNA evidence.
“The hair that we used from Monroe was collected by the person who embalmed her body the day she died and we were able to draw up 22% of her genetic profile from that thanks to a DNA fragment found in the keratin,” said Pomès, who is also producing the documentary for Label News.
The director-producer said he “spent years and sleepless nights” to deliver this one-hour documentary and reveal once and for all who Monroe’s father was,” as well as break a “family secret.” “The thing that I touched me the most was seeing the reaction of Gifford’s family who were overwhelmed by this irrefutable evidence,” Pomès said.
“Marilyn, Her Final Secret” will premiere in June on French channel Toute l’Histoire. It has been sold by Mediawan Rights to RTBF (Belgium), RTS (Switzerland), SBS (Australia), Canal Plus/Iti Neovision (Poland), RTVE (Espagne), HRT (Croatie), Channel 8 (Israël), Welt (Germany), Radio Canada – RDI (Canada) and Air France.
Mediawan Rights, the commercial arm of the media group, is selling both the French and English-language versions.
Label News is developing a documentary sequel exploring other aspects revealed by Monroe’s DNA research.