|Errol Morris' doc is fascinating.|
Directed by Errol Morris
Produced by Mark Lipson
Written by Errol Morris
Starring Randall Adams, David Harris and Gus Rose
Plot Summary: The details of a Dallas police murder in 1976 reveal a miscarriage of justice towards the incarcerated Randall Adams.
Significance: Considered one of the best documentaries ever made, this film was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#235 in 2012 critics' poll and #174 in the directors’ one), and it was even nominated for Best Feature and Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards. Also, it was added to the U.S. National Film Preservation Board’s Film Registry in 2001.
Thoughts: I don’t watch many documentaries, especially true crime ones, but my first foray into Errol Morris’ work was remarkable. By examining the events of that fateful night and its aftermath, Morris has made a compelling movie out of mostly interviews and re-enactments. The edit is so tight, and the narrative never slows down or loses focus. It’s a very eye-opening, intense film that grips you from the start. The film presents a strong case for Randall Adams’ innocence, and, really, the facts show how ridiculous his conviction was. While the evidence presented in the documentary vindicates the wrongly imprisoned Adams, it also sparked new interest in his case at the time. He was freed shortly after the film’s release, after serving twelve years in prison. If a film can do that, it’s certainly worth seeing. Fortunately, it’s also a great one on its own.