Review: Ulterior motives abound in ‘I Will be Murdered’ Special

Posted May 1, 2013 by Sarah Gopaul
‘I Will be Murdered’ is about a murder investigation that was elevated to a national sensation when the Guatemalan lawyer’s posthumously released video prophesized his death and accused his killer.
Hot Docs
While political assassinations continue to take place around the globe, it's not often someone fingers their killer from the grave. In Guatemala, it's believed corruption is widespread and the drug trade is calling the shots. I Will be Murdered chronicles the life and investigation of a political conspiracy.
Rodrigo Rosenberg earned a legal degree outside of Guatemala before returning to work and improve his home. Refusing to be complacent in the corruption ruining the country, he spoke out against it publicly. Aware that this made him a target for violence, Rosenberg recorded a video to be released in the event of his death accusing his killer. In 2009, he was murdered while going for an early morning bike ride. Sitting alone in front of a camera with a microphone, he stated, “Sadly, ladies and gentlemen, if you are watching this video, it’s because I’ve been murdered by President Álvaro Colom.” The video went viral and a high-level investigation was launched into his murder.
Opening with very solemn music, the filmmakers try to focus on the man Rosenberg was before his death; painting a portrait to draw viewers into the movie, they try to establish his character. It’s somewhat manipulative, but not overbearing.
This documentary is organized as a mystery. The circumstances surrounding Rosenberg's death is unknown, but many suspect it’s related to his advocacy work. As his friends and family mourn his passing, a man Rosenberg worked closely with distributes a CD to all the guests at his funeral. After watching the recording, Rosenberg's son takes it straight to the prosecutor's office and demands action.
While those who knew Rosenberg speculate and recollect about his life, work and death, the prosecutor traces his findings during the investigation. The narrative is edited together to form a chronological story comprised of different voices, recalling all the events in hindsight. Even though the narrative lacks urgency, it makes up for it by describing a fascinating tale murder and intrigue.
As the story unfolds, there are some significant revelations uncovered about Rosenberg’s personal life and death. It’s unpredictable as real-life mimics a page taken out of a Hollywood script, but in the end the truth is the result of tragic desperation.
I Will be Murdered is screening during Hot Docs, the largest documentary film festival in North America, which runs April 25 to May 5 in Toronto.