Watch the trailer: Grace Millane documentary ‘The Lie’ to be released in NZ cinemas

A true crime documentary exploring the shocking murder of 21-year-old British backpacker Grace Millane is set to be released in New Zealand cinemas.

Due for release on 25 April, The Lie takes a victim-centred look at how the 2018 murder case which shook New Zealand highlights the threat that women face in their day-to-day lives, and confronts the harmful attitudes about violence towards women that continue to permeate society.

In addition to first-hand accounts from key participants and witnesses, the film makes extensive use of chilling CCTV recordings previously unseen, chronicling the perpetrator’s movements and disturbing police interview footage in which he unleashes a litany of lies.

The film, directed by Helena Coan (Audrey, Lioness: The Nicola Adams Story), was created with permission from Millane’s family.

“One of the first things I did was to write to Grace’s mum to ask for her blessing to make the film, and she gave me her blessing,” Coan says.

Through the film Coan examines and explores the regressive societal attitudes regarding male violence toward women, and our collective responsibility to identify and call out abusive behaviour.

“I just wanted to show the step-by-step act of how this can happen. It was all about making it immersive and uncomfortable and unflinching,” she says.

“I wanted to make a film that stays with the viewer long after they’ve watched it… This film is very sad, but if this film could save one person’s life or make one man look at his behaviour or help someone get out of an abusive relationship, then it’s worth doing.”

The Lie Producers Matthew Metcalfe and Tom Blackwell of GFC Films were struck by the impact the case had on Detective Inspector Scott Beard, who was in charge of the case and its public face.

“With a lot of hardened detectives, there’s often one case that is indelible or has stayed with them,” Blackwell comments.

“Even those that have seen horrible things, there’s usually one that they carry along with them, and it appeared pretty early on that that was the Grace Millane case for him.”

Aware of the sensitive nature of the film, the producers felt it was crucial the story was brought to the screen.

“We discussed at length the importance of bringing the spotlight on this issue of violence against women and believe that something of value could be expressed with a film about the case,” says Metcalfe.

The Lie will be released in New Zealand cinemas nationwide on April 25, 2024.

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