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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Murder: By Reason Of Insanity (1985)

After a young couple defects from communist Poland, they emigrate to America in the hopes of a better life. But things don't go as planned. As the husband's (Jurgen Prochnow, DAS BOOT) career fails to take off, his wife's (Candice Bergen) becomes increasingly successful and he begins to resent her as she becomes more independent and Americanized. As his mental state deteriorates, she fears for her life and divorces him and that's when her nightmare really begins. Based on a true story of a 1979 murder that should never have happened except for the failure of the legal and mental health care systems, this is a very disturbing film. You know right from the beginning how it's going to end and it's no pleasure waiting for the inevitable. The tragedy of Ewa Berwid's murder caused New York to change several laws which gave more protection to potential victims, little solace to her two small children. A very deglamourized Bergen, using a very subtle Polish accent, does some of her very best work here. Directed by Anthony Page. With Eli Wallach and Hector Elizondo.

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