‘Patriots Day’ Premiere Gets Warm Welcome From Bombing Survivors

"Patriot's Day" premiered to a Boston audience on Wednesday night. The film's director Pete Berg said he's very happy with how the movie was received.

"We were there for hours having hugs and good tears and people telling us their stories," he said.

"I knew that if we got it right, it would be a positive experience," echoed actor and producer Mark Wahlberg.

However, Jessica Kensky, who was injured in the bombing and was featured in the film, says "getting it right" is an impossible standard.

"It was really traumatic," she said. "This permanently changed lives. This permanently ended lives. So 'right' is something I don't think you can achieve with survivors, but respect is. And I do think that the gentlemen sitting behind us made sure that happened."

Dun "Danny" Meng, the carjacking victim who helped authorities find the bombers, was also featured in the film. He says he liked the film and was honored to be a part of it.

"I never saw myself as a hero," he said. "I just think I'm fortunate to survive, my hero is those police officers."

Audiences may be most fascinated by the film's portrayal of Katherine Russell.

"It became apparent to us from talking to law enforcement that there were many unresolved issues with her," Berg said.

The director also explained that he wrote to Russell, saying, "Help us understand what life was like for you in that apartment in that week prior to the bombing."

"That scene where she's being interrogated was based upon significant reporting about her behavior, her affect, her manner, and the words that she had to say," said Michael Radutsky, one of the film's producers.

Watertown Police Sgt. Jeff Pugliese also said Berg's commitment to the facts was important to him. In Thursday's media briefing, Sgt. Pugliese revealed more details about the shootout between him and elder bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

"I ultimately shot him nine times and he just didn't want to go down," Pugliese said. "Looking at the autopsy report, one of my bullets hit him in the left side, another one shattered his femur, and he was still up and running and I had to take him down and tackle him."

"Patriot's Day" will be released in some Boston theaters on Dec. 21. It will be released nationwide on Jan. 13.

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