Weekend Screening of Doc "Love Lived on Death Row"

by ekramer on January 14, 2010

A documentary about a man who killed his wife and whose children came to forgive him will be shown in Louisville this weekend. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Love Lived on Death Row we be screened Saturday at the Seelbach Hilton during the conference of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, which runs today through Sunday. The screening starts at 4:15 p.m. in the Seelbach’s Walnut Room.

It tells the story of how the adult children of Elias Syriani came visit their father on death row in North Carolina years after he was sentenced for their mother’s murder.

Linda Booker directed and produced the film.

“It really gives us an insight into, I think, what are the family members of death mate inmates going through,” she says. “And in this case it’s extraordinary that the primary victims of the crime are also the family of the death row inmate.”

Booker decided to make the film after learning about Syriani and his children. She says the story can provide insight to many people, not just those touched by the death penalty.

“What really initiated my interest in this was I had done a lot of work with our local domestic violence agency,” she says. “And, to me, this is a way to look at certainly how children can be resilient coming out of a domestic situation like that.”

While on death row, Syriani also found a friend in a grandmother of 10 who wrote letters to him. Booker says the film tells how that woman initiated the friendship.

“After Meg Eggleston saw Sister Helen speak, she was inspired to write a person on death row,” Booker says. “And subsequently she ended up becoming Elias Syriani’s spiritual adviser.”

Sister Helen Prejean, whose work with death row inmates was portrayed in the movie Dead Man Walking, is also a keynote speaker at this weekend’s conference.

Click here to see the trailer.

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