Court allows Germans to see cannibalism movie

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Court allows Germans to see cannibalism movie

Wed May 27, 2009 @ 04:48PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Rohtenburg02 We're not sure what's more surprising — that a German court once considered the personal feelings of a cannibal so sacrosanct that it stopped the release a movie that was said to hurt the confessed man-eater's feelings, or that a German court has now reconsidered its stance.

In 2006, convicted cannibal Armin Meiwes successfully sued to prevent the release of "Butterfly, A Grimm Love Story," starring Keri Russell as an exchange student studying criminal psychology in Germany who meets a cannibal inspired by Meiwes. At the time, the court ruled that the movie, otherwise known as "Rohtenburg" and produced by L.A.-based Atlantic Streamline, too closely mirrored real life events and violated his personal rights.

Nothing like a banned movie about cannibalism to whet people's appetites. Or maybe Germans wanted to hear music by German metal legends Rammstein, who Meiwes also threatened to sue after creating a hit song based on the cannibal.

Whatever the case, demand for the movie hasn't ebbed, and now Germans can see the movie in all ts fleshy glory. Or gory? The court has just ruled that public interest outweighs the convict's personal rights

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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