Making a Murderer


#1

Watched today at work together with a colleague (it is pretty quiet over the holidays, lots of free time).
It was some of the most depressing, frustrating, infuriating and riveting watch I have ever experienced.
Anyone seen it ?
We also watched Jinx on monday, which was incredible, but Making a Murderer just killed me.
It is just incredible how unjust the justice system can be. And I am sure this is not some US problem, but there are similar kinds of abuses happening all over the globe all the time. But this one was just documented in such detail..ugh.


#2

Jinx and Making a Murderer are both good.

If you want another devastating and frustrating movie, check out Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father.


#3

I actually never before watched these kinds of documentaries, never appealed to me, but on some forum someone spoke so highly of Jinx and Murderer I had to try it.
I already googled “similar to Jinx” and am already downloading Dear Zachary, Imposter and Thin Blue Line, for tomorrow’s work binge. It is not very pleasant watching during holidays, but I think I found a new addiction.


#4

Imposter is amazing, but it’s not as sad or downright depressing as the others on your list. It’s good though because the situation is nuts.

Thin Blue Line is a classic.


#5

Thin Blue Line is a classic, but the re-enacted bits that Erroll Morris uses in the movie at times feel really, really dated these days.


#6

I’ve posted my thoughts/recommendation here.


#7

Binge watched all ten episodes today and mostly enjoyed it. I understand the narrative arc has to reflect some grey reality but damn if it isn’t an unrelentingly depressing trip into the abyss.


#8

Watched Thin Blue Line, also really good, and Imposter was both hilarious and terrible (in a good way).
Still, Making a Murderer will linger in my mind the longest I think. Just watched an interview with Dean Strang:

I am so happy they are getting new leads. Dean is such a good guy.


#9

I just finished Episode 3, and I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. This is just gut-wrenching stuff. I don’t know what to believe anymore. Did 18 years in prison turn Avery into a murderer? Or is he once again being treated unfairly and framed? With the young nephew’s “confession”, things just get really dark. I know that there’s 7 episodes left, but I’ve got a sinking feeling that this is going to be more and more like the first season of Serial: after the first few episodes, you pretty much knew most of what happened, and further episodes just went into further details, but you never really find out too much more than that.


#10

My opinion is that he’s not a very nice guy, and he’s a very violent prone individual. Having said that, I don’t think he did the crime he’s charged with. Very difficult to watch, I’ve always had a huge nightmare about being framed in such a way. Truly a helpless feeling, especially to have it done to you twice. Just crazy.

Hardest part for me to watch are definitely the smirks and snide comments from the people who are either misrepresenting the case or accused of actively participating in the conspiracy. The lawyer for Dassey in particular needs to be slapped and disbarred.


#11

The two filmmakers were on NPR this morning. When asked about whether they thought Avery was guilty, they unapologetically said they didn’t know. But they’d like to believe in the system, and trust that the system is better, that the system should work.

And I agree that this is what bothers me most about this case. The fact that were able to railroad an innocent man into jail the first time, and then having a strong conflict of interest the second time, being sued by him at the time. Even if he is guilty, it just doesn’t seem like the system has changed much and an innocent man could still be sent to jail since there’s been no real reforms.


#12

Yes, this film has been getting a lot of press lately. A fair size group of people are outraged. It will be interesting to see what happens due to it.


#13

I’m planning on watching this over the weekend, but I am a bit wary of all these case examinations becoming public entertainment. On the one hand, our criminal courts should operate with complete transparency and we should be able to look into things like this. On the other, we’re being presented the facts by one group. They may say they’re not sure of the truth, but one can’t sit through all this stuff without forming an opinion. And that opinion will show up in their work, whether that person (or group) believes it or not. I’m now seeing articles from those involved in the trial who are saying that the film makers left out a lot of facts in their pursuit of the story. They could be lying, I don’t know. But it does give me pause when I consider the the objectivity of the person behind the camera.


#14

AFAIK the film makers have consistently said that they don’t know if he’s guilty or not. My big takeaway was that the justice system is messy but really there are no better alternatives.


#15

They would say that, wouldn’t they? ;)

There are also articles from the defense lawyer involved in the trial, who disputes that assertion. The gist is that obviously stuff was left out as they had to fit the trial into 5 or so hours of television, but what is there is fairly representative of both sides cases.


#16

I think I’m fine with a bit of slant in my true crime documentaries if an injustice is uncovered and it causes people to look more critically at similar cases.

The Thin Blue Line is unashamedly slanted in favor of the subject’s innocence and the movie was right.


#17

I haven’t watched it yet, as I said. I was just musing out loud on what I consider the potential downside of a post-Serial brand of criminal case journalism in which cases are played out in the court of public opinion without the benefit of full disclosure/access to all the facts. But it makes me feel a bit less wary if that’s the takeaway most folks are getting.

Well, fair in the mind of the film makers. ;)


#18

No, I meant it was fair in the mind of the defense attorney that was recently interviewed.

edit: see here. But watch the series first…


#19

He would say that, wouldn’t he? ;)

I will watch it, and I’ll probably come away as outraged as many others. But you’re still telling me that only one side is claiming it was fair. I wasn’t in that court during the trial. I don’t have access to all of the facts (well, more precisely, I won’t take the time to research all the facts…but neither will the vast majority of those who watch the documentary).

These documentaries are written and filmed in such a way as to engender a strong emotional reaction in their audience. Hopefully that’s because the film makers are right. But I worry about the day they may not be.


#20

There is absolutely a lot of slanted reportage going on in the documentary. Some of it is very justified, but it’s worth pointing out that there remains some difficult physical evidence here. Compare it to the Adnan Syed case, where the evidence is an unreliable eyewitness.

Still, it seems pretty skeevy to me that the same prosecutor presented to two different juries two entirely different modes by which Miss Halbach was murdered in the respective trials of Avery and Dassey.