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The Central Park Five
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The Central Park Five (2012) More at IMDbPro »

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The Central Park Five -- A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park.
The Central Park Five -- Trailer The Central Park Five


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Ken Burns (written by)
David McMahon (written by)
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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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
8 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"I just wanted to go home" See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order)

Antron McCray ... Himself (voice) (also archive footage)
Kevin Richardson ... Himself (also archive footage)

Yusef Salaam ... Himself (also archive footage)

Raymond Santana ... Himself (also archive footage)

Kharey Wise ... Himself (also archive footage) (as Korey Wise)
Matias Reyes ... Himself (archive footage) (archive sound)
Jim Dwyer ... Himself
Angela Black ... Herself

Ed Koch ... Himself (also archive footage)
Craig Steven Wilder ... Himself
LynNell Hancock ... Herself
Calvin O. Butts III ... Himself (as Rev. Calvin Butts)
Raymond Santana Sr. ... Himself (also archive footage)
Natalie Byfield ... Herself
Michael Warren ... Himself
Saul Kassin ... Himself
Michael Joseph ... Himself
David Dinkins ... Himself
Ronald Gold ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Humberto Arroyo ... Himself (archive footage)
Bobby Burns ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert Colangelo ... Himself (archive footage)
Mario Cuomo ... Himself (archive footage)
Howard Diller ... Himself (archive footage)
Linda Fairstein ... Herself (archive footage)

Rudolph W. Giuliani ... Himself (archive sound)
Bernard Goetz ... Himself (archive footage)
Carlos Gonzalez ... Himself (archive footage)
John Gotti ... Himself (archive footage)
John Hartigan ... Himself (archive footage)
Elizabeth Lederer ... Herself (archive footage)
Jack Maple ... Himself (archive footage)
Bobby McCray ... Himself (archive footage)
Linda McCray ... Herself (archive footage)
Colin Moore ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert Morgenthau ... Himself (archive footage)
Paul L. Richardson ... Himself (archive footage)
Peter Rivera ... Himself (archive footage)
Aaron Rosenthal ... Himself (archive footage)
Sharonne Salaam ... Herself (archive footage)

Al Sharpton ... Himself (archive footage)
Mike Sheehan ... Himself (archive footage) (as Mike Girard Sheehan)

Donald Trump ... Himself (archive footage)
Ben Ward ... Himself (archive footage)

Directed by
Ken Burns 
Sarah Burns 
David McMahon 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ken Burns  written by
Sarah Burns  written by
David McMahon  written by

Produced by
Chris Bongirne .... line producer
Ken Burns .... executive producer: Florentine Films
Ken Burns .... producer
Sarah Burns .... producer
Elle Carriere .... coordinating producer (as Elle Carriére)
Jim Corbley .... producer: WETA
Sarah Klein .... consulting producer
Tom Mason .... consulting producer
David McMahon .... producer
Original Music by
Doug Wamble 
Cinematography by
Anthony Savini 
Buddy Squires 
Film Editing by
Michael Levine 
Makeup Department
Meredith Soupios .... makeup artist
Production Management
Dalton Delan .... executive in charge of production: WETA
Art Department
George Colbert .... maps
Christine Cornell .... courtroom art
Nicholas Feldman .... graphic design
Guenter Vollath .... maps
Sound Department
Mark Amicucci .... audio relays
Meagan Frappiea .... dialogue editor
Ryan Gifford .... sound effects editor
Michael Kurihara .... sound recordist
Greg Linton .... sound recordist
Peter Miller .... sound recordist (as Peter J. Miller)
Mark Roy .... sound recordist
Michael Suarez .... audio relays (as Mike Suarez)
Dominick Tavella .... sound re-recording mixer
John Zecca .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Richard Rubin .... digital image restoration
Camera and Electrical Department
Jared Ames .... assistant camera
Joe Anderson .... assistant camera
Sergei Franklin .... steadicam operator
Ned Hallick .... gaffer
Kitama Seeger Jackson .... assistant camera (as Kitama Cahill-Jackson)
Ronan Killeen .... assistant camera
Tom Mason .... additional cinematography
Hutt Nassar .... grip
John Romeo .... assistant camera
Justyn Smith .... gaffer
Phillip Sorenson .... best boy (as Phil Sorenson)
Daniel J. White .... stand photography
Animation Department
Richard Rubin .... animation
Editorial Department
Michelle Ambruz .... arriscan technician
Chris Beardsley .... arriscan technician
Joseph Borges .... video technician
John Dowdell .... digital intermediate colorist (as Jhn J. Dowdell III)
Peter Heady .... digital intermediate finishing artist
Jean Lane .... digital intermediate producer
John Lednak .... video technician
Tim Spitzer .... digital intermediate supervisor
Shaina Holmes .... dailies producer (uncredited)
Music Department
Erik Friedlander .... musician: cello
Ryan Hewitt .... music engineer
Jeb Patton .... musician: piano
Jacob Ribicoff .... music editor
Andy Taub .... music engineer
Doug Wamble .... musician: guitar
Other crew
Paul Barnes .... advisor
Garrett J. Beltis .... production intern
Sarah Botstein .... advisor
Julie Burns .... advisor
Christopher Darling .... assistant to the director
Joe DePlasco .... national publicist: DKC Public Relations
Dayton Duncan .... advisor
Julie Dunfey .... advisor
Arielle Edelman .... production intern
Matthew Evans .... production intern
Moritz Fortmann .... credit sequence
Robert N. Gold .... legal services
Anne Harrington .... director: interactive media and engagement, WETA
Brenda Heath .... chief financial officer
Katie Hinsen .... credit sequence
Craig Impink .... foundation development: WETA
Stephanie Jenkins .... production coordinator
Kim Klein .... vice president for development
Patty Lawlor .... associate financial officer
Dave Mast .... technical director
Timothy McAleer .... production intern
Peter Miller .... advisor
Lynn Novick .... advisor
Drew Patrick .... legal services
Sharon Rockefeller .... president & CEO: WETA
Colleen Sackheim .... transcription services
Aubrey Sanders .... production intern
David S. Thompson .... project director: WETA
Rob Travalino .... production assistant
Geoffrey C. Ward .... advisor
David Magdael .... publicist (uncredited)
Ric Burns .... the filmmakers wish to thank
Taylor Krauss .... the filmmakers wish to thank
Michael Warren .... the filmmakers wish to thank

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
119 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

[last lines]
Antron McCray:The truth came out. The truth came out.
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Yo SlippinSee more »


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
"I just wanted to go home", 17 February 2014
Author: doug_park2001 from United States

I remember the skeptical tone of one news report I read in 2002, when the Central Park Five ("CP5") were exonerated due to Matias Reyes's confession to the 1989 assault and rape of Trisha Meili. The majority of people (including myself) who gave the story a cursory glance seemed doubtful about a serial rapist who was already serving a life sentence--i.e., with nothing left to lose by making a false confession--meeting one of the CP5 by chance in prison and taking the blame in order to clear the names of several young men who must have been properly convicted some years earlier. "What did Reyes get in return?" many of us wondered, ignoring the facts that all of the CP5 had already completed their sentences for the rape and near-murder of Meili--though one of them was incarcerated for a later drug trafficking offense and just happened to meet Reyes in prison--and that Reyes's DNA matched the profile found at the crime scene.

THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE is very important in showing the other side of the story. It definitely has its slant, as any documentary will, but it makes a strong argument for the basic fact that five teenaged boys were convicted solely because of coerced and contradictory confessions to the crime after hours of being interrogated and played off against one another with a complete disregard for the lack of direct evidence against them. It clearly shows how this can and does happen far more often than many of us want to think. It's also very revealing of how dangerous public emotion and outrage, regardless of its focus, can be.

Unfortunately, the NYPD, the prosecutors in the case, and everyone else responsible for the convictions declined to speak to Directors Ken and Sarah Burns, which is very telling but also limits the scope of the film. THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE is dominated by interviews with the CP5 and their relatives, obviously a crucial ingredient, but it becomes repetitive. There are, however, important comments from then-Mayor Ed Koch, who was all for conviction and serious punishment of the CP5 in 1989 but has now apparently changed his mind. The brief input by NYC historian Craig Steven Wilder and several others also adds a great deal.

One of the strongest aspects of THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE is the brief sociological perspective of New York City's racially polarized, have/have-not environment during the 1970s and 80s. Not only is it elucidating in its own right, it also provides background and something in the way of explanation for the wrongful conviction of the CP5.

Some of the more negative reviews have criticized THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE simply for being "boring," and at the risk of sounding crass, I see what they mean. While this is an important miscarriage of justice that should not be ignored, the repetitiveness and narrow scope of the film will inevitably limit its mass appeal. Anyone with a serious interest in this case and wrongful convictions in general, however, will probably find its two-hour length well-worth sitting through.

More analysis of the details that led to the wrongful convictions would have been helpful, e.g., the term "wilding." One of the CP5 confessed to police that he and a number of others were "wilding" in Central Park on the night of the crime. The term "wilding" is roughly equivalent to "raising hell," the usual term-of-choice when I was a kid in the late '70s/early '80s. "Raising hell" could, of course, refer to anything from driving fast, drinking beer, and talking loudly and irreverently (as we meant it) to violent felonies. More discussion of how misinterpretations of the loose term "wilding" were a critical factor in the conviction would have added some depth to this documentary.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
How can I see this movie? mrs-jindrak
The overturning of the conviction was correct but they probably did it. quisp65
Other criminal acts on the same night. isis-13
These kids were wronged kelly-gaudreau
My take... alita-terry
Everyone Needs to See This Film ggwolk
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