I went into West of Memphis, the new documentary, financed by Peter Jackson, about the West Memphis Three case — the gruesome 1993 child murders in Arkansas; Damien Echols, along with comrades Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin, tried and convicted as a weirdo-outsider-satanist; the corruption and injustice; the years of protest; the trio’s release from prison last August — with a blend of curiosity and trepidation. I was intensely interested to see if the movie could show us something new, and maybe even revelatory, about the case. But I admit that I was more than a little skeptical about whether that could happen. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Damien Echols (1-4 of 4)
Toronto: 'Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory' is a plea for justice that also lets us know (more or less) who the killer is
A little more than ten years ago, when they were finishing the second documentary in what turned out to be the Paradise Lost trilogy, directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky chose the title Paradise Lost: Revelations. In a way, though, they could have put that title on almost any one of the three films. For when you watch Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996), or Paradise Lost: Revelations (2000), or the new chapter, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, which premiered this week at the Toronto Film Festival, what keeps you watching — what keeps you just about soldered to the screen — is the promise of revelation. The promise of a moment when the forensic clues (a serrated knife! a telltale hair!) finally start to fit together. When the innocence of the West Memphis Three (who were railroaded for the crime of murder) comes rushing into the light. Or when the identity of the real killer suddenly looms up before us. Every day, we see Hollywood movies that are called “thrillers,” but the addictive fascination of the Paradise Lost films is that they take us back to the feeling of shock and awe that people used to get, in a more innocent time, from Hitchcock. At key moments, they make you suck in your breath. READ FULL STORY »
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