29 November 2012 6:30 AM, PST | SmellsLikeScreenSpirit | See recent SmellsLikeScreenSpirit news »

In 1989, one Latino and four black teenagers -- Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise -- from Harlem were accused (and then convicted) of raping a white woman in Central Park. After spending six to 13 years in prison, a serial rapist confessed to committing the crime, eventually leading to the overturning of their convictions. We are all quite familiar with Ken Burns' tried and true documentary technique of panning and scanning archival photos teamed with voiceover narration. It is a filmmaking approach that often seems overly dry and scholarly in this confrontational age of docu-tainment directors such as Michael Moore and Errol Morris. Burns' approach to The Central Park Five, however, is much different. Working with co-directors Sarah Burns (Ken Burns' daughter) and David McMahon (Sarah Burns' husband), Ken Burns relies upon contemporary talking-head interviews with the previously convicted men, as well as journalists, »

- Don Simpson

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