Crime thriller filmmaker blocks theater release after link to cabbie killer


The director of a Greek crime thriller that may have inspired the murder of a taxi driver in the northern Athens suburb of Kifissia has decided to stop the film’s theater release.

Sotiris Tsafoulias on Monday said that suspicions about a possible link between “Eteros Ego” (Alter Ego) and the deadly shooting of a 52-year-old cabbie in early March as well as the attempted murder of another taxi driver a few days earlier were raised during a public preview of the film in Athens on February 7.

The director said that he has given police footage of the event, which included a Q&A session with members of the audience, following suggestions on a true crime investigation show on television on Friday night that a young man fitting the police’s description of the perpetrator was at the preview.

In the video of the Q&A session, the young man is seen asking the director whether he was concerned that the story of an investigator who uses mathematical theory to track down a serial killer may inspire a real crime. Tsafoulias responded that the thought never crossed his mind when making the film, which is purely a work of fiction. The young man who asked the question is then seen leaving the cinema, before the Q&A session ended.

“In light of recent developments, I decided to withdraw the film from theaters, not because I acknowledge some link with the Kifissia killer… but so that there is no misunderstanding regarding the intentions of myself and my associates in our efforts to help the investigation,” Tsafoulias said in a statement on Monday.

“I hope that the man who asked the question on the evening of February 7 will come forward so that any connection between the perpetrator and the film proves to be nothing but a tragic coincidence,” he said.