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.
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In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. Written by
Jim Dwyer - New York Times:
What ever you do in life, you make mistakes, and you either face your mistakes, or you don't. I don't think the Press faced it's mistakes. I don't think the Police Department faced the truth in what had happened, because the truth of what had happened is almost unbearable. By prosecuting the wrong people in the central park rape case, Matais Reyes continued to hurt, maim and kill. And They could have had him, but they got stuck with a mistake, and they are still invested in that mistake.
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This is a taut and suspenseful piece of documentation. It will get your dander up. Especially if you believe in the democratic principals of freedom and justice. It's about five young men whose fundamental rite of passage was stripped from them. They were forced to spend their formative years being caught up in a justice system gone awry. That precious time of life when we get to decide who we are and what we are to become. Those transformative years between 13 and 18 when we get to make the declaration of 'I Am'! If you're left wondering 'Who am I' at the end of that period something has been stolen from you that can never be replaced. That's what this documentary is ultimately about-and it will leave you questioning 'Who are we'? That boys lives can be compromised-the promise of becoming. You can almost see the direct correlation between The Central Park Five and Trayvon Martin, African and Latino American boys being denied the rite of becoming. It is a human tragedy of which we all should feel some sense of shame.
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