Powerful autobiography centered on suburban murder
Frontline and former ABC news producer Charles Stuart quietly tells the story of his mother's unsolved murder in her house in Princeton, New Jersey, one of the least-likely towns in America to imagine such a heinous crime. Stuart succeeds at what any loving child imagines doing: creating a poignant and compelling elegy to a suddenly-departed loved one. Every documentary film class ought to show this and use it as a example of how to tell a well-paced, significant story without resorting to sensation or bathos. There's no telling if making this film helped heal Stuart's wounds, but there's a pointed and telling lesson here, made undogmatically -- don't take love or loved ones for granted. You never know. Personal documentaries don't come better than this.
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