|“Since first hearing about the scandalous torment and torture of prisoners of war at Abu Ghraib prison, I have been very interested in reading about the psychological processes behind ‘anti-social behavior’. I read many studies of lone rapists/serial killers, (upon which I created the character of Massimo Belcuore), but what about the ‘anti-social’ group behavior exhibited by those who take part in ‘government-sanctioned violence’? What motivates some military service personnel, the rogue CIA ops, and the bad cops who commit atrocities? How does their sense of patriotic mission or purpose bring them to the fervent belief that they have moral superiority over our nation’s laws, and perhaps God’s laws? And, then, when they are ultimately brought to justice, how do they rationalize their punishment? The Luz Tiburon/Justine Jones character, a Neocon CIA operative, represents this dynamic. Both Luz and Massimo are anti-heroes. In fact, they are barbaric! However, both have a world view that has a degree of rationality, within its own frame of reference. Luz’s behavior could even be considered heroic, among those who share her fundamentalism. Although they don’t label themselves as “religious”, both Luz and Massimo see themselves as helpless characters in a world controlled by some outside force. Massimo has personal demons that drive him to his behaviors. Luz has a license from her government. ‘Some day they’ll see’ Luz says. ‘I’m just playing a role in the greatest story ever told.’ This ‘story’ or ‘sense of cause’ is the biggest form of security we have as humans. A sense of belonging gives a person a very strong sense of identity in a world that is increasingly hard to understand. In some cases, rapid scientific and technological advances have created new fears and intolerance, as formerly isolated cultures are now geographically and economically able to mix in urban settings. I didn’t want to judge either Massimo or Luz, with the hope that the audience would really listen to them and then open their own minds about the myriad subjects presented in the film. I believe that every one of us carries somewhere deep inside the impulse to do anything that any human has ever done. By not judging the characters too harshly in the execution of the writing, acting or directing, I hope the audience will see that the face of evil is a human face.”
- Dawn Westlake, director, Los Angeles, CA, March 2005
Running time: 18:24
Language: English & Italian
Production dates: May 15-July 12, 2006
Location: Clarksville and Amsterdam Castle, Amsterdam, NY
Hardware: Panasonic DVX100A
Software: Final Cut Pro
What’s in a name?: Massimo Belcuore literally means “Maximum Goodheart”. Luz Tiburon means “Light Shark”. The Hotel Belmondo means “The Beautiful World Hotel”. Luz’s real name is “Justine Jones”, the main character in “The Devil in Miss Jones” (1972).
All questions/requests regarding the film should be addressed to:
Dawn Westlake (director-writer-producer),
Ron de Caña Prods., Inc.
For broadcast inqueries:
Fred Joubaud , Ouat Media, firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-979-7380, ext.2112
To purchase this film for home viewing, click here(Parental guidance suggested)