Stephen Frears to direct film about Stockwell shooting

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The Independent Online

The controversial death of Jean Charles de Menezes is to be turned into a film with Stephen Frears as executive producer.

The drama will focus on the life of the Brazilian, who was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot by police, as well as the impact his death had on the South American community in London.

Last night an agent for Frears - who directed the Bafta award-winning film The Queen - confirmed that the project was under way. The director Henrique Goldman said it would be a "human" story rather than taking a political stance on the shooting, in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings. People would understand the rights and wrongs "very, very strongly in their bones without any preaching".

The film will focus on Mr Menezes's friends and family and how the tragic event changed their lives, added Goldman, 45, who left his native Brazil at 19.

"I think the public knows a lot about this story, but they don't know who Jean Charles was, and who suffered because he died," he added. The project was offered to the BBC but it decided not to proceed.

Mr Menezes, 27, was shot at Stockwell Tube station in south London on 22 July 2005. The police issued an apology but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to bring charges of murder or manslaughter against any of the officers.

The movie, to be made by Mango Films, will start at the moment the electrician left Brazil - about three months before he was killed - and will cover the year after his death.

Goldman said he was not interested in focusing on the police. He said: "I don't find the British police so interesting, no matter how dishonestly they behaved in this event." He said filming was due to start this summer and would hopefully be completed by 2008.