WEST OF MEMPHIS, Sony Pictures Classics
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From Academy Award-nominated director Amy Berg, in collaboration with first time producers Damien Echols and Lorri Davis along with acclaimed Academy Award-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh comes WEST OF MEMPHIS - a powerful examination of a catastrophic failure of justice in Arkansas.
This infamous case of three teenagers - known as the West Memphis Three - who were imprisoned for a heinous crime despite overwhelming evidence of their innocence, has galvanized grassroots supporters and high-profile advocates such as Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Told and made by those who lived it, Berg's unprecedented access to the inner workings of the defence, allows the film to show the investigation, research and appeals process in a way that has never been seen before.
The documentary starts with a searing examination of the police investigation into the 1993 murders of three, eight year old boys Christopher Byers, Steven Branch and Michael Moore in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas. The film goes on to uncover new evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the other three victims of this shocking crime – Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley. All three were teenagers when they became the target of the police investigation; all three went on to lose 18 years of their lives - imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
How the documentary came to be, is in itself a key part of the story of Damien Echols' fight to save his own life. The film reveals how close he, his wife Lorri Davis, along with his legal team, friends and supporters, came to losing that battle. But as Echols, who spent eighteen years on death row, himself has stated "... in the face of such horror, in the face of resounding grief and pain, you cannot give up ... you must never give up."
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