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Paradise Lost 1 & 2 (Joe Berlinger And Bruce Sinofsky) (2 Discs)

Released on 27 June 2005

Featuring: Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky

Format: DVD | Rating: Exempt from Classification

4.0 out of 5 (5 customer reviews) | Write a review

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On May the 6th 1993, the mutilated bodies of three 8 year-old boys: Christopher Byers, Steve Branch and Michael Moore, were found in a shallow creek in Robin Hood Hills, West Memphis, Arkansas.

A short time later police arrested three local teenagers: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley linking the boys killings to a satanic ritual. The three teens were then tried and convicted in a court of law. Damien Echols is currently on Death Row.

The intriguing court case was about to unfold as filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky ventured forth to make this documentary. They captured footage of not only courtroom proceedings but also interviews with the major players in the trial - parents, suspects, lawyers. The film makes a clear argument that the court trial may not be about witchcraft but a witch hunt. There was no real evidence to support the fact that these three teens were involved in the murders. The police pressured Jesse into a confession. Upon listening to the confession it becomes obvious that he knew nothing about hate murders except from rumours he had heard and what the police had told him. As with any great drama, the faces and situations are etched upon the viewer; however, we are dealing with real lives and real crimes, told gruesomely by police photographs and videotape, and the impact is far greater. So too is the maddening ambivalence of the trial, a verdict is reached but the truth of this is questioned.

Did the police make any fatal errors on the night of the crime? Do last minute clues lead to justice? who's lying on the stand?

This is depicted as a provocative single incident that holds the mirror up to many of society's problems.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (5 reviews)

 Witch hunt

| | See all nashanubis's reviews (1)

This documentry is fantastic, hbo is given full access to the crime itself (after discovered) and the so called police hunt for the killer(s). What you actually witness is a mordern day witch hunt, a town held by the fear of so called devil worshippers, and the facts of the case that were used to covict theres boys were never enough.
After you watch the film you can't help but hope that justice is done for both the poor boys murdered, their families and the men still in prison.

 A MUST WATCH FOR ANYONE

| | See all Cornishdude's reviews (1)

If you have not seen this docu-film then its perfect timing and a perfect price to do so now, the 3 convicted men have just been granted a hearing into a new trial which it will no doubt lead to a new trial (with the utter strength of the appeal including DNA evidence, juror misconduct etc etc). The 2nd of these films is horribly out of date and alot of it is now NA given that the wrong step father was suspected, but its important to watch as it draws an ironic line that the persuers of justice for a witch hunt in turn then commit the same act. Its strong stuff at times but essential viewing for anyone with an interest in the pursuit of justice and the rights and wrongs of the world. Please buy this dvd and visit the appeal website and help get these innocent men out of jail, we are nearing victory in a 17 year battle for justice, and we have even solved the case and found the real killer ;)

 Gripping

| | See all Bumblefoot's reviews (13)

Fantastic documentary, you wont believe what you witness...it seems obvious who the killer was and so sad what has happened to the boys who ended up in prison for it.

 Justice in America?

| | See all peterbell1's reviews (4)

This is a very good documentary, it left me wondering how those three boys have spent 14 years in jail for crimes they obviously didnt commit. A must see if your into true crime and miscariages of justice

 fascinating story/poor documentary

| | See all Christopher123's reviews (2)

when I read the synopsis for this film I was immediately intrigued. A horrific crime allegedly carried out by three young men as part of a satanic ritual killing, but with a distinct lack of evidence in the investigation and much doubt cast over the fairness of the trial. Its quite a story and the notoriety of the film has resulted in much attention towards the case. However as a documentary film its rather poor. The film is far too long and the second film is about 30% re-used footage from the first film. It never really decides whether the focus of the film should be about the mind set of the defendants or an investigation into the rather sceptical case and verdict eventually reached in court. It also never reaches any kind of conclusion as new evidence is unearthed even today and the defendants are still awaiting various appeals. Overall I believe this is an interesting story but not a good film. Also listening to Sanitarium by Metallica over and over again gets really annoying.

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ActorsJoe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
DirectorJoe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
CertificateExempt from Classification
Year1996 ; 2000
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo
SubtitlesFrench ; German ; Italian ; Japanese ; Spanish
Duration4 hours 40 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.