Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, presents a gripping courtroom thriller, offering a rare and revealing inside look at a high-profile murder trial. In ... See full summary »
A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.
The accident made national headlines: a suburban mother drove the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in upstate New York and crashed head-on into an SUV, killing herself and seven others. In ... See full summary »
In the quiet suburb of Cheshire, Connecticut, Jennifer Petit and her two young daughters were killed in a horrific home invasion; husband and father William Petit was the only one who ... See full summary »
Berlinger and Sinofsky's documentary of a gruesome triple murder in West Memphis, Arkansas and the subsequent trials of three suspects, takes a hard look at both the occult and the American justice system in 'small-town' America. Three teenagers are accused of this horrific crime of killing three children, supposedly as a result of involvement in Satanism. As in their previous documentary, things turn out to be more complex than initial appearances and this film presents the real-life courtroom drama to the viewer, as it unfolds. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
In August 2011, after eighteen years in prison, Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols, and Jessie Misskelley (known as "The West Memphis Three") entered an "Alford" plea (which allows them to maintain their innocence while simultaneously acknowledging that the state likely has enough evidence to convict them). They were given credit for the time they had already served and freed instantly. Echols said that if not for the films made about the case by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, the Arkansas justice system "would have murdered me, swept this under the rug, and I wouldn't be anything but a memory right now." See more »
Damien reads this Shakespearean quote while on trial: "Life's but a walking shadow...full of sound and fury signifying nothing." He incorrectly refers to it as being from A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is fact a soliloquy famously from Macbeth. See more »
Damien Wayne Echols:
I knew from when I was real small people were gonna know who I was, I always had that feeling... I just never knew how they were gonna learn. I kind of enjoy it now because even after I die, people are gonna remember me forever. People are gonna talk about me for years. People in West Memphis will tell their kids stories... It'll be sorta like I'm the West Memphis boogie man. Little kids will be looking under their beds - "Damien might be under there!"
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Absolutely haunting. This chilling account of murder and the search for justice will leave you open-mouthed and shocked for the tale is not a pretty one. Three eight year old boys are brutally slain (and there is graphic footage so this is not for the faint of heart), but the focus of the story is upon the three teenagers of this Arkansas town who are put on trial for the killings. And as the film unfolds you begin to wonder if the boys are truly guilty of this heinous crime or are being persecuted for being different in a town that locks different away. In the end, you are your own jury in determining the guilt of these black-wearing, Metallica-listening boys who didn't quite fit in. If you can stomach the upsetting scenes and the entire idea (which I admit put me off for a long time) you will find the film completely consuming. Unable to tear your eyes from the screen, the story and the boys who lived it will stay with you forever. Simply incredible.
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