Sky announces five-part documentary series on the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder case 2 weeks ago

Sky announces five-part documentary series on the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder case

Directed and narrated by six-time Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan, the documentary series will revisit one of the most infamous murder cases in Irish history.

Sky has announced that multiple Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan is to make a documentary series on the search for justice for Sophie Tuscan du Plantier, who was murdered in West Cork in 1996.

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It will mark a documentary series debut for the acclaimed director, who has been nominated for Oscars on six occasions for his work on My Left Foot, In The Name of The Father and In America.

Titled Murder at the Cottage: The search for justice for Sophie, the series will examine the infamous murder of Du Plantier, a French filmmaker who was brutally murdered at her holiday home in the town of Schull in West Cork two days before Christmas in 1996.

At the time, news of Du Plantier’s death rocked the locality and the country as a whole and it has continued to make headlines in the 24 years since, with the mystery as yet unsolved.

It was also the subject of the acclaimed West Cork podcast series, which was released in 2018.

The key suspect in the murder case, English journalist Ian Bailey – the first reporter on the scene – has been arrested twice for Du Plantier’s murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison, having been found guilty in absentia, by French authorities last year.

Owing to a lack of reliable evidence, however, Bailey has never been found guilty in Ireland, has successfully fought off repeated extradition attempts from French authorities, – including one as recent as October 2020 – maintains his innocence and resides in West Cork to this day.

Bailey is one of a number of key figures in the case set to feature in interviews in the documentary, which also pieces together original evidence and never-before-seen footage as Sheridan tries to make sense of what happened on the night of Du Plantier’s murder.

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The series will be produced by Hell’s Kitchen in association with Sky Studios, will be distributed globally by NBC Universal Global Distribution and is expected to air on Sky Crime in 2021.

Commenting on the series, Jim Sheridan, said: “This is a story that has fascinated me for over two decades.

“It is a murder that carries implications for the meaning of justice in Ireland, in France and in the UK. It is a murder that calls into question the meaning of Europe, as the convicted man in France is free in Ireland.

“It is a story that calls into question the meaning and process of the police and the legal system. It is a story that shines a light on domestic violence. It is a story about primal fear.

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“About a devil in the hills. About the existence of evil among us. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this series, but in particular to Sophie’s family who are still searching for justice.”