in terms of the subject matter the only documentary, off the top of my head, that is as fucked up is body without soul. i’ve never met anyone who has seen it, but it’s firmly in that genre of waking up privileged young white kids along with dark days and, these days, 75% of the internet. this film, and its sequels, are getting a bit of a resurgence because the west memphis three recently got out because of dna evidence. the sequel came out in 2000 and the third installment was just release this year, but isn’t on dvd yet. it’s a classic errol morris thin blue line type of documentary where we get talking heads and fly on the wall content and are left to our own devices to develop an opinion. i didn’t know anything about the dna evidence or the verdict until after i watched the film, but as i got near the verdict i put it this way – i wouldn’t convict them if on the jury, but i could see them doing it. primarily because damien seemed like the kind of guy who could get into that kind of trouble without much worry and could convince the two dumber kids to go along with it.
just like the media covers the presidential elections like a horse race, it’s easy to see that this case turned into a circus. it’s easy to look a million different ways – at the dressing black angle, blame it on metallica (sanitarium is one of my favorite songs of theirs by the way, and it comprises most of the film’s soundtrack), look at the stepdad who maybe did it, look at the idiotic police department, etc. what it comes down to, though, is that 3 kids were raped and cut up savagely and none of this circus is going to help that. pretty messed up. good documentary though.