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Sony Pictures Classics Pick Up 'West Of Memphis' Documentary

The Playlist By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist March 1, 2012 at 2:21PM

Now one of the most infamous tales of wrongful convictions and the complete failure of the American judicial system, the case of the West Memphis Three has been chronicled in the “Paradise Lost” film series, which revealed the struggles of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. as they deal with being falsely accused and convicted in the murder of three children. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg had her own film “West of Memphis” debut at Sundance in January, which we called an exhausting and exhaustive chronicle of justice, which has finally been acquired for release.
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"West of Memphis"
Olivia Fougeirol "West of Memphis"

Now one of the most infamous tales of wrongful convictions and the complete failure of the American judicial system, the case of the West Memphis Three has been chronicled in the “Paradise Lost” film series, which revealed the struggles of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. as they deal with being falsely accused and convicted in the murder of three children. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg had her own film “West of Memphis” debut at Sundance in January, which we called an exhausting and exhaustive chronicle of justice, which has finally been acquired for release.

Sony Pictures Classics has announced that they've picked up the Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh-produced film, which mostly uses newly uncovered testimony to point the finger at Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the victims of the 1993 crime, who is now a potential suspect due to the physical evidence that could link him to the crime and incriminating statements from his ex-wife, neighbors, and even his nephew, who's gone on record stating that Hobbs had confessed to him. “West Of Memphis” sparked some friction between Berg and “Paradise Lost” filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofksy, but our writer at Sundance found it to be “more often than not an emotionally effective investigation into how real-life villainy may be more insidiously present than commonly assumed.”

As you may know, there’s a bevy of West Memphis Three-related projects on the way in the wake of the trio’s release from prison, including a Johnny Depp-produced adaptation of Echols’ memoir, and the Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth-starring “Devils Knot,” which is to be helmed by Atom Egoyan. It’s certainly a good time to take in a good amount on the subject, which is an incredibly intriguing tale for out time.

Now word on a release yet, but we’re sure Sony Classics will get it into theaters this year.

This article is related to: West Of Memphis, Sony Pictures Classics, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh


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