Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


The Central Park Five

The Central Park Five
Starring:
DOCUMENTARY


Rated: No rating 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: November 23, 2012 Released by: IFC Films

This new well-edited fly on-the-wall procedural of a documentary might induce a more probing look in this indictment of society and the U.S. judicial system.
 
The Central Park Five is about letting the innocent have their say in what has connections to another fact-based fictionalized account starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell, Conviction.
 
For those unfamiliar with the case, a provocative if unsettling cinematic experience with much information from the NY Daily News and NY Post comes from the "wilding" of a handful of NYC minors in the 1989 (Apr.19-20) beating and rape of a 28-year-old caucasian woman.
 
In a traditional, but compelling manner with a variety of talking heads from journalists, activists to then Big Apple Mayor Ed Koch, a knotty narrative that doesn't aim for suspense given the 2002 of serial rapist/murderer Matias Reyes still has a certain amount of resonance and revelation to it.
 
Offering clarity to how the case was made public has a bit of recreation and interrogation videos (except for Anton McCray whose voice is heard on tape) to manifest how the boys were coerced into confessing to a crime that wasn't of their doing.
 
More than knowledgeable of wrongful convictions, NY Times reporter Jim Dwyer more than infers about experience professionals not nearly performing to their level of expertise. From, say, the influence of these kind of tactics as depicted on shows like Law & Order you get to see how a prosecuting attorney can have his or her way with a disoriented, jaded juvenile.
 
Filmmakers Ken Burns, his daughter/legalese Sarah and her husband David McMahon obviously have put it all into sensible context when the metropolis was in the midst of new drugs infiltrating the culture during much economic distress. It may say something more harmful about those intent on putting the presumably accosting cyclists/joggers young folks away relative to a monster like Reyes.
 
The Central Park Five is a difficult, somewhat demanding film of bigotry and incompetence that testifies to the pathos and confluence of more than circumstantial evidence that puts some light into victims without much remorse and fleshed out in ways that may help a nearly decade-old civil suit on a case which still has no resolution.

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