Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life - Ju­lian Wright

DERIK Mur­ray has made doc­u­men­taries about Bruce Lee, Evel Knievel and Steve Mcqueen, but for the first time con­sid­ered his sub­ject a co-di­rec­tor when he delved into the life of Perth boy Heath Ledger.

I Am Heath Ledger, which has its Aus­tralian pre­miere at Luna Leederville on May 9, fea­tures ex­ten­sive home video footage shot by the for­mer Guild­ford Gram­mar stu­dent, Hol­ly­wood star and Os­car win­ner who died at age 28 on Jan­uary 22, 2008.

Speak­ing to Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group from Los An­ge­les hours af­ter it screened, Mur­ray said the footage mo­ti­vated the con­tent of the doc­u­men­tary and the line of ques­tion­ing with his in­ter­vie­wees.

“I have never be­fore been in­volved in a project in which I con­sid­ered the sub­ject to be a codi­rec­tor; Heath was so pro­lific in how he doc­u­mented his life,” he said. “We met his friend Matt Amatto, who shared with us that Heath turned the cam­era on him­self all the time and showed us some footage.

“We made our mis­sion clear that we wanted to cel­e­brate his life and his ge­nius, and we re­ceived a mul­ti­tude of drives of Heath’s footage from fam­ily, friends and the es­tate.”

Among those in­ter­viewed are Ledger’s mum Sally, dad Kim, sis­ters, child­hood friends and celebrity peers, in­clud­ing Ben Men­del­sohn and Naomi Watts.

One per­son no­tably miss­ing from the doc­u­men­tary is Ledger’s for­mer girl­friend and the mother of his daugh­ter Matilda, Michelle Wil­liams.

“We asked Michelle if she would like to be in­volved and told her she did not have to de­cide right away, but she re­spect­fully let us know from the be­gin­ning she was not com­fort­able be­ing in­ter­viewed,” Mur­ray said.

“She was sup­port­ive of the doc­u­men­tary, and that was so mean­ing­ful to us.

“Michelle has been sup­plied with a copy of the doc­u­men­tary to watch at her own leisure.”

I Am Heath Ledger has a one­week the­atri­cal re­lease at Luna Leederville and Luna on SX from May 11 to 17.

Friends and fam­ily were in­ter­viewed for Derik Mur­ray’s doc­u­men­tary I Am Heath Ledger.

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