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My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? is a film directed by Werner Herzog and produced by David Lynch, inspired by the story of murderer Mark Yavorsky. Herzog describes the film as "a horror film without the blood, chainsaws and gore, but with a strange, anonymous fear creeping up in you".

The film was originally planned for production in the Summer of 2008, but was postponed in favor of Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Information about the film was first released at a press conference at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Filming began around San Diegomarker, Californiamarker in March 2009.It was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. It was the first time in Venice film festival history that there are two Golden Lion nominated films both directed by the same director in one year.


The film is inspired by the true story of Mark Yavorsky, a San Diegomarker man inspired by Sophocles' Orestes who stabbed and killed his mother with an antique saber. Yavorsky was at the time a graduate student at UCSDmarker who had recently been cast in the lead role of a production of Electra. Yavorsky was tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity, and spent many years at Patton State Hospital before his release.

Herzog's story, as in his other feature films based on true stories, does not follow the historical story of Yavorsky very closely. Most obviously, Yavorsky's name in the film has been changed to Brad McCullum. Herzog has stated that "About 70 percent of the script is false ... loosely made up." The narration will jump between the scene of the murder, and the man's troubled life leading up to the event. It will be shot "guerrilla-style" on digital video.


The film was shot in and around San Diegomarker, near Yavorsky's home. Actors Shannon and Zabriskie appreciated filming so close to the story's actual setting, while producer Eric Basset said that the choice of location was for financial reasons, and Herzog says that it was simply "a matter of convenience".

Before production, Herzog arranged a meeting with Yavorsky, then living in Riverside Countymarker, whom Herzog described as "argumentative".


The film premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival on 5 September 2009 , is scheduled to have its Canadian premier at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2009 and it's Los Angeles premiere at The Downtown Independent theater.




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