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.
Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children.
West of Memphis is an examination of a failure of justice in Arkansas. The documentary tells the hitherto unknown story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light. Told and made by those who lived it, the filmmakers' unprecedented access to the inner workings of the defense, allows the film to show the investigation, research and appeals process in a way that has never been seen before; revealing shocking and disturbing new information about a case that still haunts the American South.Written by
Damien Wayne Echols:
The thing I like most about time is that it's not real. It's all in the head. Sure, it's a useful trick if you wanna meet someone at a specific place in the universe to have tea or coffee. But that's all it is, a trick. There's no such thing as the past, it exists only in the memory. There's no such thing as the future, it exists only in our imagination. If our watches were truly accurate the only thing they would ever say is now.
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This documentary, produced by Peter Jackson, examines the 1993 triple homicide of three eight-year-olds, investigation and trial of three teenagers and the subsequent efforts to overturn their conviction. While the story itself spans a 20-year period, this documentary focuses upon the most recent attempts at re-examining the evidence and freeing those convicted (one of whom confessed).
The story's already been told in HBO's "Paradise Lost" 1 - 3 (yep, this is the FOURTH doc on the subject), but this tale has been going on for twenty-years and has had multiple layers. If you haven't seen any of the other movies, or know nothing of the case, not to worry - West of Memphis does a fantastic job telling you the story from start to finish and in refreshing the memories for those of us to whom it's familiar.
I'm normally not bothered by graphic images, but my only complaint for this movie is the frequency of the explicit crime scene and autopsy photos of the victims - truly disturbing and haunting...I felt it was too much and took away from the film - the story itself, and sad realization that there were six actual victims, is overwhelming enough without being visually assaulted. I'm not one to normally feel the need to close my eyes or to look away, but here, I did.
And what a shame, by forcing me to look away, it forced me to tentatively recommend this film to everyone - it's tough to watch and revisiting how six children lost their lives is harrowing. While our country has the best justice system in the world, it's not perfect and works best for those who are able to afford the finest legal council money can buy (right, OJ?!) - in any case, "Justice delayed is justice denied".
I highly recommend it - but, I've warned you...it's tough.
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