Michael Neelsen directs Beyond Human Nature, an immersive look at the Tom Monfils murder in 1992. A paper mill employee, Monfils, was found at the bottom of a pup vat with injuries to his head and a weight tied around his neck. Three years later, Monfils’ six co-workers went to trial for his killing. Neelsen talked to Deepest Dream about his nearly 10-year journey in getting Beyond Human Nature released.
Beyond Human Nature delves into the mysterious circumstances surrounding Monfils’ death at the James River Paper Mill in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Known as the Monfils Six, the men reportedly harassed Monfils after he reported Keith Kutska stole an extension cord from the factory.
Monfils reported the incident to police in confidence, never realizing the audio recording of his conversation would leak to Kutska. The documentary shows a different side of the events, as Monfils may have had motivation for suicide. It’s an eye-opening documentary, and I won’t divulge any other details the documentary covers.
“It’s been a huge part of my life in the sense that it’s been the open project that we’ve been working on,” said Michael Neelsen, who started work on the documentary in 2014. “You find ways to pace yourself, but it’s largely the fact of this particular process. The ‘fast, cheap, or good’ dichotomy where if we want it to be good, it need to be cheap (and) it’s not going to be fast. We chipped away at it over the nine years raising funds for the interviews at first (for 2014-6). Then we raised funds for the recreations and that was filmed in late 2018/9, and Then we raised funds for post-production. So we were just chipping it away at it for a very long time.”
Former detective Randy Winkler, Monfils’ co-worker Mike Piaskowski, prosecuting attorney John Zakowski, and Monfils’ brother Cal are among the interviewees. You can purchase/rent Beyond Human Nature on Amazon via this link to support our website (we receive a slight commission as affiliate members). For more digital outlets that are carrying Beyond Human Nature (it was released on digital today), go here.
Full interview with director Michael Neelsen is below:
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Check out the latest episode of Michael Neelsen’s podcast Reel Fanatics which spotlights Beyond Human Nature:
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