West of Memphis

21 February 2013 Film

West of Memphis

In 1993, the bodies of three missing eight-year-old Memphis boys were found in a waterway. A few months later, three teenagers were tried and convicted of the crime. The state’s case was conclusive, and few people doubted the defendants’ guilt. That was until documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky made the Paradise Lost trilogy (1996–2011), each film suggesting a miscarriage of justice had taken place. Celebrities began to support the teens, among them Lord of the Rings filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Jackson and Walsh began funding private investigators and DNA research and it’s the outcomes of those investigations that form the basis of West of Memphis. It’s daunting subject matter, but impossible to look away as one of the most compelling murder mysteries of modern times unfolds. No prior knowledge of the crime is required, and those wanting a proper resolution to the story will not be dissatisfied. An astonishing, brilliant film.

Lee Zachariah

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