‘The Staircase’ Director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade Is Back With Sundance Episodic Thriller ‘Laetitia’ (Exclusive Video)

France’s legal system is called into question in the trailer after an 18-year-old is murdered

Last Updated: January 23, 2020 @ 11:39 AM

France’s legal system is scrutinized after a teenage girl is murdered in the first trailer for “Laetitia” from director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, who is known for “The Staircase” and “Murder on a Sunday Morning.”

In the trailer, 18-year-old Laetitia goes missing, and it becomes clear quickly that something has gone horribly wrong. When lifelong criminal Tony Meilhon is arrested, the legal system is questioned when scrutiny arises of how a man like that could have been walking the streets freely.

The details of the crime develop, drawing the attention of politicians and the national media. The film is based the book “Laetitia,” or “End of Men,” by Ivan Jablonka, based on true events.

“Laetitia” has distribution in France and is up for acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival, which will start this week in Park City, Utah.

De Lestrade most recently worked on “The Staircase,” which chronicled the trial of Michael Peterson after he reported in December 2001 that his wife had fallen down the stairs and died. However, there was a lot of blood and lacerations to the head that caused investigators to look into a possible homicide. Peterson was convicted in 2003 of murdering Kathleen Peterson and spent eight years in prison. In 2011, he was granted a new trial, but before it could start, he submitted to an Alford plea to the reduced charge of manslaughter. He was sentenced to time already served and was set free.

Watch the trailer for “Laetitia” above.


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