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 »
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 »
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.
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>
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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This film left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Not that it was gruesome -- it is, but I've done research involving reading coroner reports, so gruesome I can cope with. It was the unanswered questions and the unasked questions.
It seems so utterly implausible that a jury could have convicted any of the suspects that I wonder what the filmmakers did not show us. Specifically, I wonder about the fiber evidence, which was the only real physical evidence at all.
I could only rate this documentary a 7 out of 10 because of the unasked questions and the evidence we were not shown. I would like to have come away from watching Paradise Lost with a clearer understanding of what those jurors heard and saw that led them to their verdicts. Mind you, I don't think those boys did it -- I think that even fiber evidence could have been too flimsy to convict them. But I wish I had been left convinced.
23 of 37 people found this review helpful.
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