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‘Hearts of Darkness’ director Eleanor Coppola dead at 87

Eleanor Coppola won an Emmy award for her documentary 'Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse'

By Web Desk
April 13, 2024
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse featured behind the scenes of Apocalypse Now
'Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse' featured behind the scenes of 'Apocalypse Now'

Eleanor Coppola, acclaimed for her Emmy-winning documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, passed away at the age of 87.

According to Variety, the filmmaker breathed her last on Friday, April 12, at her home in Rutherford. The Coppola family confirmed her death in a statement to the Associated Press.

Coppola's legacy in filmmaking will always be remembered with her groundbreaking documentary, which featured the tumultuous 238-day production of Apocalypse Now, directed by her husband, Francis Ford Coppola.

She stepped into the realm of filmmaking during the creation of her husband’s Vietnam War epic by capturing the behind-the-scenes challenges and chaos that prolonged the project's production.

During that time, Apocalypse Now was a highly anticipated follow-up to The Godfather: Part II and faced numerous setbacks and crises, resulting in extending its production time to double the initially planned duration of five months in the Philippines.

From Harvey Keitel's replacement with Martin Sheen to the typhoons wreaking sets, the film encountered myriad complications. Sheen's hospitalisation due to a heart attack further added to the challenges.

While navigating through these challenges, Eleanor recorded behind-the-scenes footage, which later formed the crux of the 1991 documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.

Released twelve years after Apocalypse Now finally made it to the screens and nabbed eight Oscar nominations, the documentary garnered widespread acclaim.

Additionally, Eleanor is survived by her husband, their children, Sofia and Roman, and three grandchildren.