By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
The board of a popular Montgomery independent theater has blocked the showing of a documentary about former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman because it contains “defamatory” information about a board member, the theater’s director told al.com.
A group had rented the Capri Theater and planned to show the film, titled “Atticus v. The Architect: The political assassination of Don Siegelman,” next month.
But on Monday, Capri’s director, Martin McCaffrey, told al.com that the board voted to rescind that rental because the pro-Siegelman film portrays board member Leura Canary “in a false and defamatory way.”
Canary was a Federal prosecutor during Siegelman’s prosecution and ultimate conviction. Canary’s husband, Billy, was a powerful player in the State’s Republican Party and served as an advisor to eventual Gov. Bob Riley.
Leura Canary said she recused from the case against Siegelman, but there have long been allegations by Siegelman’s camp that she remained active throughout. A number of emails and other items – all detailed in the film – were discovered following Siegelman’s conviction.
The documentary has already been shown in Birmingham and Atlanta and was set to appear at The Capri on July 8.
The Capri, an independent theater with a long history in Montgomery, has enjoyed significant community support from a wide range of backers. Those backers include a number of people who might be less than sympathetic to a political decision that ran counter to the Capri’s longstanding adherence to free speech.
For example, in the late 1980s, it was one of the only theaters in the country to show “The Last Temptation of Christ,” the controversial Martin Scorsese film that was banned by theaters all over the country.