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The controversial Princess Diana documentary

Posted by Wesley Morris  May 10, 2011 12:12 PM

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Well, the 64th Cannes Film Festival hasn't even begun yet (that would be tomorrow), and people are already upset. Many of those people appear to be in England, which is mad at Keith Allen's documentary that puts forth the idea that the royal family played a role in the motor accident that killed Princess Diana, her companion, Dodi Fayed, and driver, Henri Paul and injured her bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones. The nut of the controversy -- among Diana's friends, anyway -- is Allen's inclusion of a graphic black-and-white paparazzi photo taken of Diana moments after the crash in a Paris tunnel.

The movie's been made with the cooperation of al Fayed's father, who has said that the royals didn't want Diana marrying a Muslim. It all sounds too greasy for more words. The movie's also, as you can imagine, in want of publicity. By "Cannes screening" one means it's screening in the town of Cannes, not as part of the festival. Allen, who's the father of the pop star Lily Allen, told the Daily Mail that he chose to bring the movie to Cannes because "British lawyers demanded 87 cuts." It also doesn't hurt that the world's film press and movie industrialists will be there, too. That would include me. Allen will show the film on Friday. I'll try to see it.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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