Rating: 5 / 5
On April 29, 2016 Bali 9 convicted drug smugglers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan and six other inmates were executed by firing squad in Indonesia at midnight.
Guilty covers the final 72 hours of Myuran’s journey to his execution, and is showing in cinemas across Australia on 10 October to highlight World Day Against the Death Penalty.
Guilty is part real-life news footage and part re-creation of those last days of Myuran’s life, filmed in a specially created set in Melbourne’s Docklands film studios.
Actor Adam McConvell bears an uncanny resemblance to the real Myuran and does a superb job of portraying this complex man, who was widely regarded as completely rehabilitated and who had contributed an enormous amount to fellow prisoners by sharing his talent as a painter to teach fellow inmates.
During the film, as Myuran writes a final letter to his mother, he says, “If my painting can help people to see that the death penalty is wrong, I’m happy. I love you, Mum.”
The point of this special screening is to show the world that while crime must be punished and both Myuran and Andrew Chan admitted this, the solution should never be the death penalty.
One of the most chilling scenes in the film is watching the doctor draw targets on the condemned men’s chests just prior to their executions.
Melbourne’s Pastor Christie Buckingham was Myuran’s spiritual advisor in those last dark days, and in the film we see her at his side, saying the final words he hears from an individual—“I will see you on the other side.”
On the back of one of Myuran’s paintings is the sentence “Jesus always loves us”, and the most poignant moment of the film is just before the firing squad takes aim, when Myuran, with tears rolling down his cheeks, begins to sing ‘Amazing Grace’, and voices around him join in.
To say they are singing as if they mean every word is an understatement.
+ Compelling messages of compassion
– Searing realism of execution scenes