No man of God

No man of God
Running time:100 minutes
Director:Amber Sealey
Release:Cinema
Release date:27 august 2021
Rating:
In 1980, Ted Bundy was sentenced to death by electrocution. In the years that followed, he agreed to disclose the details of his crimes, but only to one man. No Man of God is based on the true story of the strange and complicated relationship that developed between FBI agent Bill Hagmaier and an incarcerated Ted Bundy in the years leading up to the latter's execution.

Mulder's Review

Often the unknown true stories give rise not only to outstanding films but above all bring to the audience a new angle on important events of the past. Discovered during our coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival, director Amber Sealey's (A Plus D (2008), How to Cheat (2011) and No Light and No Land Anywhere (2016)) No Man of God was definitely one of our favorites. 

Theodore Robert Bundy (Ted Bundy) was certainly one of the most important American serial killers who abducted, raped and murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. After confessing to over 30 murders in seven states between 1974 and 1978, he was sentenced to death by electrocution in 1980. In the years following his arrest, he agreed to disclose the details of his crimes, but only to one man. No Man of God is based on the true story of the relationship that developed between FBI agent Bill Hagmaier (a brilliant profiler) and this incarcerated man in the years leading up to his execution.

No Man of God benefits not only from a compelling screenplay written by Kit Lesser but also from an excellent approach that highlights a new way of breaking into serial killers, profiling. The numerous discussions between Bill Hagmaier and Ted Bundy allowed to better understand the way of thinking of these dangerous individuals but also to pierce many question marks. The interviews given between 1984 and 1989 in the Florida State Prison not only changed the course of future investigations but also provided a better understanding of Ted Bundy's psychology. Bill Hagmaier's behavior was affected by trying to get inside Ted Bundy's head, his approach to evil was different but also fascinating in his eyes. The greatest quality of the film is the long exchanges between these two men and especially the excellent interpretation of Elijah Wood and Luke Kirby.

The character of Ted Bundy has been an important theme in American cinema with notably Ted Bundy (2002) by Matthew Bright, Ann Rule Presents: The Stranger Beside Me (2003) by Paul Shapiro, Bundy: An American Icon (2008) by Corin Nemec and more recently Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) by Joe Berlinger with actor Zac Efron in the main role of this serial killer. This film is meant to be different because it is based only on a specific time period and mainly on the long conversations. These are inspired by real audio recordings and the cat-and-mouse game between these two men. Certainly the dialogues are romanticized but they keep a real background as disturbing as fascinating.

We also find in an important supporting role Robert Patrick who remains one of the best current supporting actors in American cinema with many outstanding films such as 58 minutes to live (Die Hard 2) (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Spy kids (2001), Safe House (2012) and more recently The Good Criminal (Honest Thief) (2020). The care given to the casting and the photography of this film made it one of the highlights of the Tribeca festival and we can only advise you to discover this film when it is released.

No Man of God
Directed by Amber Sealey
Produced by Daniel Noah, Lisa Whalen, Elijah Wood, Kim Sherman
Written by Kit Lesser
Starring Elijah Wood, Luke Kirby, Aleksa Palladino, Robert Patrick
Cinematography : Karina Silva
Edited by Patrick Nelson Barnes
Distributed by RLJE films
Release date : June 2021 (Tribeca), August 27, 2021 (United State)
Running time : 100 minutes

Seen on June 12, 2021 (Tribeca Festival Online press access)

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