Whether you have watched Making a Murderer or not, you will have heard of it. It is the talk of the town, Netflix’s newest product, the latest in the long line of watchable TV shows you can watch in a slovenly binge. The difference with this show, is that much like HBO’s The Jinx, this is real life. It follows the trial of a man accused of a crime he swears he did not do, and we the viewer are left constantly guessing whether or not he did. The actions and end result will most likely shock you, you will be angered not only at the acts that have taken place but by the simple fact that the American judicial system is not equipped to handle suspected innocence.
You are guilty until proven innocent, and those on the side of the law will do everything they can to prove it.
If you have finished it, and looking where to go next aside from the vast array of conspiracy theories and delve deeper into the subreddit, here’s some documentaries that should satisfy your thirst for justice, or injustice… whichever way you look at it.
The House I Live In
Much in the same way that Making a Murderer battles with the American legal system, The House I Live In takes on the resulting effects of drug law. Many stories of wrongful imprisonment, mandatory minimum sentences, baffling oversights of vital evidence, corruption or drug policy – it’s just fantastic viewing when presented right, and this documentary is one of the finest.
Central Park Five
In the Central Park Five, again we are presented with a horrific incident that takes place, as a female jogger is sexually attacked by what is claimed to be five Black and Latino males. As you can probably guess where this is going, all is not as it seems, and it is far from an open and shut case for a number of reasons. Rest assured, this documentary has a conclusion, but how it gets there is simply compelling.
What starts out as a video diary for a son whose father was tragically killed, turns into a grim tale of true crime horror. You should probably block out an entire day if you’re going to watch this documentary, because not only will it anger you to a level you previously thought was unachievable, you will also most likely be an inconsolable wreck of a person for the rest of the day. Another documentary here, where despite the facts being present and solid arguments being made for the good guys, not everything goes the way you hoped it would.
West of Memphis
Small boys are found dead in a riverbank and the number one suspects are 3 goth kids and their supposed satanic rituals. It’s easy to sit and observe from your armchair and judge the law enforcement for what at times can clearly be the line of investigation, especially when the evidence is presented in such a fashion that the outcome always seems so obvious to the viewer. However, in some instances, like this one, it is simply baffling how it could be so wrong regardless of artistic licence in presentation of the facts.
Capturing The Friedman’s
Originally a documentary on children’s party entertainers, documentary maker Andrew Jarecki uncovers conflicting tales of sexual abuse among the Friedman family, and looks to piece it all together with home videos and current testimony. It is a tricky case, with the line of guilt being so blurry that audiences were left divided as to what side to take. It’s a pretty grim story to tell, but with this documentary brought into question new evidence and new testimony – opening what was a previously closed case, wide open.
One of the stand out documentaries of 2015, shown on Storyville under the name FBI Undercover in the UK, this is the tale of Lyric R. Cabral who ends up being on the right side of a FBI sting operation. One of her neighbours is acting undercover, and is put out there to expose a young Muslim man and gather enough intelligence to arrest him for the terrorism charges they suspect him of, in an effort to secure the safety of their country. The documentary takes you on a journey through the paranoid US state of mind, and tenuous links made in this documentary will shock you.
Crime After Crime
This documentary, much like many others in the same vein, is much more than a political statement or an awareness for a campaign, it is a straight-forward, anger-inducing, personal tale spanning too many years. Addressing the issue of the laws supporting self-defence with specific reference to domestic violence, Crime After Crime is a sad story that needed to be told.