May 26, 2009 / 5:59 PM / 10 years ago

Film on German cannibal may be shown: court

Armin Meiwes smiles in a Kassel courtroom, January 30, 2004. REUTERS/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - A 2006 horror film based on the real story of a German engineer who killed and ate a willing victim may be shown in Germany, a court ruled on Tuesday, overturning a previous ban.

Armin Meiwes, the so-called “Cannibal of Rothenburg,” had sued to prevent the film by director Martin Weisz from being shown in Germany, claiming it would damage his personal rights.

The court in Karlsruhe said that public interest in the film, together with Meiwes’s own previous efforts at marketing the gory deed, outweighed his complaint that the film would cause him emotional damage.

The film, “Rohtenburg,” released internationally as “Grimm Love,” stars Keri Russell as an American exchange student studying criminal psychology in Germany. She chooses the notorious cannibal case for her thesis.

In the real tale that horrified Germany, engineer Meiwes met his victim, IT manager Bernd-Juergen Brandes, through an Internet advert in 2001. Brandes said he was looking for someone to “obliterate his life and leave no trace.”

After severing Brandes’s penis and trying to eat it, Meiwes stabbed him in the throat, hung him on a meat hook and cut him into chunks, some of which he later ate. He captured the action on video.

In 2006, a Frankfurt court sentenced him to life in prison, rejecting a previous argument that his act of cannibalism amounted to euthanasia since Brandes had wanted to be eaten.

Meiwes gave many interviews on himself and the crime and signed a marketing contract with a production company in 2004. The case has been the subject of a book, several additional films, and songs by Rammstein and Marilyn Manson.

Reporting by Jacob Comenetz, editing by Stephen Wood

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