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Documentary filmmakers assert that Anthony Porter - a former death-row inmate who was spared the death penalty thanks to the efforts of a college journalism program - was actually guilty, and an innocent man was sent to prison.
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.Written by
You must try your very best to see The Central Park Five. I left it 5 hours ago and I'm still on fire. I have no right words. It might be the best documentary I've ever seen. Or let me put it like this: I've never watched a film that better justified making films in the first place. I just felt like I witnessed 119 minutes of truth-telling that was handled exquisitely from a narrative and visual storytelling perspective.
I almost didn't go. I was tired and I was thinking, you know, I have 3 hours here (my husband was watching our young son) do I really want to spend it focused on tragedy? I am so deeply happy I went. Maysles Cinema screened it at the Dempsey auditorium in Harlem. It was packed to the rafters. Throughout the screening, you never heard a rustle. You never heard a cough. You never saw the light of someone texting. Total, utter rapt attention. And then, we had the Q&A with four of the men. Four full human beings who had so much taken away from them. They filled the stage with their powerful, radiant presence. Sara Burns and David McMahon were there, too, as was Albert Maysles himself. An incredible experience.
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