In the spring of 2002, filmmaker Joe Berlinger traveled to Vienna to witness the burial of the preserved brains of over 700 children killed at a Nazi "euthanasia" clinic. GRAY MATTER ... See full summary »
This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert was a member of a family of four elderly brothers, working as semi-literate farmers ... See full summary »
Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the journey of his Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.
In 1993, a horrific triple child murder was discovered in West Memphis, Arkansas, but the reaction to it precipitated a horror of its own. This film follows up on the story of the three boys, called the West Memphis Three, who were convicted for this crime with questionable evidence. For years, the boys' fate sparked a mass movement striving to prove their innocence while the state is equally determined to avoid admitting it could have been wrong. Through the swirl of new evidence and suspects, the Three tell their own tale about enduring this injustice against the opinions of the victim's families in a debate that eventually came to an inadequate resolution. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Todd and Dana Moore, the parents of 8 year-old victim Michael, wrote a letter to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences asking that the film be removed from consideration. In the letter they said that the film glorifies Damien Wayne Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley. Director Joe Berlinger had in fact acknowledged during an interview with salon.com that he determined Echols was innocent after speaking with him for five minutes prior to the trial. Despite the Moore's request(or perhaps because of it) the film was nominated for Best Documentary, Features for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. It lost to Undefeated (2011). See more »
Damien Wayne Echols:
If I focused on the things I can't change, the things that have hurt me, what people have done to me, then they would have already broken me. They would have killed me inside and out. I can get up in the morning and I don't feel sorry for myself, I don't hate my life. You have a lot of people in here that all they can think about is what they don't have and how much they want out and how much they want something else. But for some reason, this situation has helped me to see more of what I do ...
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I can't comment on the guilt or innocence of Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin. To my knowledge there wasn't any evidence that necessarily put them at the scene of the murders. This doesn't mean I believe they're guilty, but either way, anything is possible. My issue with this and the other two Paradise Lost documentaries is the use of the actual crime scene photos of the three innocent eight year old murdered boys, Chris Byers, Stevie Branch, and Michael Moore. Their little innocent bodies are exposed to all viewers as if the boys would be OK with having their mutilated and bound bodies shown for all to see. Not only is that disrespectful to the memory of the three murdered little boys, but it is disrespectful to their parents and relatives including siblings. I wonder how the people involved with the making of this documentary would feel if one of their family members, especially an innocent child, was murdered and had their horrific and so depressing crime scene photos used in a documentary. It is heartless and only used for sensationalism. Viewers of this documentary do not benefit from seeing these three beautiful little boys, Chris Byers, Stevie Branch, and Michael Moore, in these graphic crime scene photos. I don't understand how no one else has commented on this fact. How is the showing of the crime scene photos OK. Don't these little boys deserve respect? Their parents should not have to know that their little boys have been exposed so graphically. I would be devastated if one of these little boys was mine and I knew that the film makers had used my son's crime scene photos in the documentaries. Everyone keeps talking about the guilt or innocence of the three convicted teenagers. I understand that they may be innocent. But no one can really know what really happened that day and the determination of the guilt or innocence of the three can only be left to our judicial system. And none of that is relevant when reviewing this documentary. These reviews are not a place for viewers to state their opinions on the guilt or innocence of the convicted. These reviews are supposed to be about the documentary itself. And let's face it, viewers are only getting the final edited cut of this documentary. The documentary is not a retrial. Was this an unbiased documentary? I'm not sure. It seems to want to show that the three teenagers were wrongly convicted without actually coming out and clearly stating that. What people are forgetting is that this story is only worthy of a documentary because three innocent little boys were brutally murdered, but no one wants to focus on that. The film makers know that viewers want to see a follow up on what's going on with the three convicted murderers (whether we believe their guilty or not). And they know that graphic crime scene photos of the three murdered little boys combined with the sensationalism of three teens, now grown men, possibly wrongfully convicted will get lots of viewers. And a possible nomination which it eventually did. I just don't get it. This is just a rehashing of old news, pointing fingers at other possible suspects without showing any new real evidence, and reusing Metallica music because cool music sells! My advice to someone who is considering watching this documentary is that they should go into it not expecting to get any truths because no one really knows the truth except Chris Byers, Stevie Branch, and Michael Moore, and the person(s) who murdered them, to not make judgments either for or against innocence because this documentary is not a retrial and we are only seeing what the documentary makers want us to see, and to know that they will see graphic crime scene photos of three beautiful, young and innocent eight year old little boys, Chris Byers, Stevie Branch, and Michael Moore. Who's looking out for them?
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