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.
Berlinger and Sinofsky's documentary of a gruesome triple murder in West Memphis, Arkansas and the subsequent trials of three suspects, takes a hard look at both the occult and the American justice system in 'small-town' America. Three teenagers are accused of this horrific crime of killing three children, supposedly as a result of involvement in Satanism. As in their previous documentary, things turn out to be more complex than initial appearances and this film presents the real-life courtroom drama to the viewer, as it unfolds.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Damien reads this Shakespearean quote while on trial: "Life's but a walking shadow...full of sound and fury signifying nothing." He incorrectly refers to it as being from A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is fact a soliloquy famously from Macbeth. See more »
Himself - Branch's Grandfather:
Pam, wouldn't be able to see Stevie again. We have to forgive in our heart because the Lord... forgave us. He shedded his blood for us. He shedded his blood for them. And he just asked us to have a forgiving spirit. I refuse to serve sin and Satan because I'm gonna see Stevie again.
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This film left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Not that it was gruesome -- it is, but I've done research involving reading coroner reports, so gruesome I can cope with. It was the unanswered questions and the unasked questions.
It seems so utterly implausible that a jury could have convicted any of the suspects that I wonder what the filmmakers did not show us. Specifically, I wonder about the fiber evidence, which was the only real physical evidence at all.
I could only rate this documentary a 7 out of 10 because of the unasked questions and the evidence we were not shown. I would like to have come away from watching Paradise Lost with a clearer understanding of what those jurors heard and saw that led them to their verdicts. Mind you, I don't think those boys did it -- I think that even fiber evidence could have been too flimsy to convict them. But I wish I had been left convinced.
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