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Who Killed Chandra Levy? (2011)

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Chandra Levy (as Sarah Baskin)
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Eugene Benson ...
Lori Berg ...
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Wendy Castellanos ...
Denise Cochran ...
Brad Cole ...
Nicholas Costello ...
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Andrew Danish ...
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Drama

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1 May 2011 (USA)  »

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$5,000,000 (estimated)
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16:9 HD
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Tragic story of a naive, lovesick intern
1 May 2011 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Amazingly, the story about a crime that was eclipsed by the attacks of 9/11 premiered on the TLC channel the night the news broke that Osama bin Laden was dead.

Luckily, I was able to tape the end of "Who Killed Chandra Levy?" so I could hear President Obama announce the historic take-down.

Though its subject matter is very sad, I enjoyed this movie. However, it is quite superficial in its depiction of the main characters. We learn little, for example, about Chandra's apparent wish to marry Condit and how this desire may have affected their relationship. Condit is described as a serial philanderer who had been involved with the daughter of the Levys' gardener. This unbelievable coincidence is scarcely explored.

Despite these quibbles, the two Washington Post reporters who wrote a book about Chandra provide informative narration through this saga. In addition, the filmmakers expertly employ suspense in a couple of genuinely creepy sequences involving Chandra's sneaker and her killer's jail cell.

Ms. Baskin is a dead-ringer for the real Chandra, and the actor who portrayed the slimy Condit also seemed a doppelganger. Interestingly, an aunt with whom Chandra had been close has lots of face time in the film, though Chandra's parents appear not to have been involved. Their input might have added depth to this effort, though it's clear they have been devastated by their loss.

This movie helped to clarify for me what actually happened to Chandra. How unlikely it remains that a Salvadoran drifter should end up the culprit! One thing that is still unclear is why the DC police apparently hadn't publicized previous, recent attacks on women in Rock Creek Park, where Chandra was attacked. Might they have saved her life?

One of the more amazing facts in the film is revealed in the printed epilogue, which notes that Condit remains married and lives in Arizona, where he is writing his life story. Based on his conduct portrayed this film, I wonder who will want to read it.


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