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The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Crime | 10 March 2012 (USA)
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An experimental documentary that uses archival footage, interviews, and fictionalized scenarios to tell the story of the people around Jeffrey Dahmer, during the summer of his arrest in 1991.
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Andrew Swant ... Jeffrey Dahmer
... Herself - Neighbor
Jeffrey Jentzen ... Himself - Medical Examiner
... Himself - Detective
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Ashbrook ... Radio Show Host (voice)
Peter Batchelder ... Crime Scene Investigator #1
... Haz-Mat Man #1
Dick Blau ... Optometrist
... Man with glasses
Brenda Bowen-Avant ... Bus Rider with baby
Matt Brush ... Liquor Store Employee
Bryan Cherry ... Hotel Date
Candace Cherry ... Bus person
... Hotel day clerk
Patrick Connelly ... Grocery Store Employee
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Storyline

In 1991 Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in Milwaukee and sentenced to 957 years in prison for killing 17 people and dismembering their bodies. This film explores the city of Milwaukee by meeting those surrounding Dahmer during and after his hidden spree. Recollections from Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen, Police Detective Patrick Kennedy, and neighbor Pamela Bass are interwoven with archival footage and everyday scenes from Dahmer's life, working collectively to disassemble the facade of an ordinary man leading an ordinary existence. Written by Anonymous

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Taglines:

He Lived Next Door. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Release Date:

10 March 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jeff  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was a New York Times Critics' Pick. See more »

Goofs

When Dahmer is purchasing alcohol in the convenient store, the "WE CARD" sticker on the freezer to the right says the "born on this date" year to purchase alcohol is 1990. See more »


Soundtracks

The Captain
Performed by The Knife
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User Reviews

A Thoughtful Look at a Man who Personifies Evil
13 March 2012 | by See all my reviews

Jeff had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film paints an intriguing, even provocative, portrait on a man whose actions place him among pantheon of the most evil figures of our times alongside the Nazis in our collective memory. The use of interviews with a neighbor, a police investigator and a medical examiner paints a compelling picture of the events surrounding the arrest and prosecution of Jeffrey Dahmer. They also show us how the revelation of his crimes affected those around him. The interviews paint a powerful picture and deliver a solid portrait of the serial killer that provides us with interesting insights into Dahmer's twisted mind and personality.

However, the other aspect of Jeff is more problematic. The director felt the need to supplemental the interviews by recreating everyday aspects of Dahmer's life using actors to show bits and pieces of his daily life as he shops for stuff that he'll need to carry out his vicious crimes. These scenes present the absolute ordinariness and in-distinctiveness of Dahmer. The phrase that kept going through my mind was Hannah Arendt's famous phrase "the banality of evil" which she used to describe Adolf Eichmann during his Israeli war crimes trial. The director and writers seem to be trying to do something similar in this film. The problem is that in so doing they are taking the dangerous step of merging fact and fiction. It is unclear whether they are attempting to recreate actual events or just imagine how Dahmer might have behaved based on their own speculations. The line between reality and imagination has becomes very blurry when you mix documentation with dramatization.


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